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Quentin Tarantino announced earlier this year that Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio would be starring in his upcoming ninth film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which partly involves the Manson Family murders.
In April, Tarantino and DiCaprio teased a few details about the film at the Las Vegas industry event CinemaCon, and Margot Robbie confirmed to IndieWire that she was playing the role of actor Sharon Tate in the film.
Since then, a strong supporting cast has steadily filled in. A source close to the production told IndieWire last month that Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, and Emile Hirsch will appear in the film. Deadline also reported that Al Pacino has also joined the cast.
Pitt worked with Tarantino on 2009’s “Inglorious Basterds,” and DiCaprio appeared in 2013’s “Django Unchained.” Longtime Tarantino collaborators Tim Roth and Michael Madsen are also appearing in the film.
This week, Sony Pictures moved up the release date for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” by two weeks – from August 9, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders, to July 26, 2019.
Here’s everything we know about Tarantino’s upcoming ninth film:
The film takes place in “Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”
- Getty Images
Tarantino described “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” in a statement in February, calling it, “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor … Sharon Tate.”
While Tarantino’s February statement mentions Sharon Tate as a player in the movie, Tarantino previously said that the film would not center on Manson but on the year 1969.
At CinemaCon in April, Tarantino did not add much to the description of the plot, calling the project “very hush-hush and top secret.”
It has been five years in the making.
- Rich Polk/Getty
Tarantino said in April that he had been working on the script for the film for half a decade.
“I’ve been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was 7 years old,” he said. “I’m very excited to tell this story of an LA and a Hollywood that don’t exist anymore. And I couldn’t be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio and Pitt as Rick and Cliff.”
It’s a “‘Pulp Fiction’-esque movie.”
- “Pulp Fiction”
Deadline reported in January that DiCaprio would play an “aging actor” in a “‘Pulp Fiction’-esque movie.” “Pulp Fiction,” Tarantino’s 1994 classic, told a collection of interconnected stories.
At CinemaCon in April, Tarantino confirmed this sentiment by saying that “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” is “probably the closest to ‘Pulp Fiction’ that I have done.”
Margot Robbie is playing Sharon Tate.
Deadline first reported in July that Tarantino had approached Margot Robbie about playing the actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson Family.
“Tarantino is one of my bucket-list directors, Robbie told IndieWire. “As long as I can remember, I’ve been a huge Tarantino fan.”
Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. wrote in November of Robbie’s then rumored role as Tate: “There has been a lot of press that the script focuses on Charles Manson and the murder spree he orchestrated, but I’m told that is akin to calling ‘Inglourious Basterds’ a movie about Adolf Hitler, when the Nazi leader was only in a scene or two.”
Robbie was on the initial shortlist of cast members Tarantino had reportedly approached for the film, including Pitt and DiCaprio (the only official names announced), Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Cruise, and Jennifer Lawrence.
Al Pacino has joined the cast.
- Getty Images / David Livingston
Last month, Deadline reported that Al Pacino is joining the cast of the film in a supporting role.
Pacino will reportedly play Marvin Shwarz, the agent of Leonardo DiCaprio’s aging former TV star.
The rest of the supporting cast is stellar.
- Getty Images
Last month, a source close to the production told IndieWire that Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, and Emile Hirsch will join a supporting cast that Deadline previously reported would include Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Scoot McNairy, and longtime Tarantino collaborators Tim Roth and Michael Madsen.
IndieWire reported in June that Lewis will play the late Hollywood star Steve McQueen in the film, while Fanning will star as “Manson acolyte Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, who received a life sentence after making a 1975 assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford.”
Earlier this month, Deadline reported that Tarantino had finished his casting with a heap of supporting actors, including Spencer Garrett, Martin Kove, James Remar, Brenda Vaccaro, Nichole Galicia, Mike Moh, Craig Stark, Marco Rodriguez, Ramon Franco and Raul Cardona.
It has “one of the most amazing screenplays,” according to DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred as a villainous slave owner in Tarantino’s Oscar-winning film “Django Unchained,” had high praise for Tarantino’s latest script at CinemaCon in April.
“It’s hard to speak about a film that we haven’t done yet, but I’m incredibly excited … to work with Brad Pitt, and I think he’s going to transport us,” DiCaprio said. “I’m a huge fan of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ – movies about Hollywood. As an LA native, having read the script, it’s one of the most amazing screenplays. We are going to do our best job to make it fantastic.”
Sony Pictures motion-picture group chairman Tom Rothman also said at the the event, “It’s the best screenplay that I have had the privilege to read.”
Sony will distribute it.
- Thomson Reuters
In November, Tarantino chose Sony as the distributor for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
Deadline reported that Sony beat out a list of competitors, including Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, and Annapurna, and that Tarantino was impressed with Sony head Tom Rothman’s film knowledge.
Tarantino’s previous films were released by Miramax and later The Weinstein Co. Both were companies of the film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who resigned from The Weinstein Co. after bombshell reports accused him of sexual harassment and assault in October.
It was set to be released on the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders, but Sony has moved it up by two weeks.
Despite Tarantino’s insistence that the film would not center on Charles Manson, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was initially set for release on August 9, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders.
The Hollywood Reporter reported in December that the film’s release was set to coincide with the anniversary of the Manson Family’s killings of Sharon Tate and six other people.
This week, however, Sony Pictures announced that it was moving the release date for the film up by two weeks to July 26, 2019.
Leonardo DiCaprio shared the first on-set image last month.
DiCaprio took to Instagram in June to share a “first look” at his and Pitt’s characters on the set of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”