Appearing at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Monday night, the director likened his Charles Manson-inspired film as “the closest to Pulp Fiction that I have done.” He also said the film’s lead actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, make for “the most exciting star dynamic since Paul Newman and Robert Redford,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
DiCaprio, who appeared alongside Tarantino, echoed the director’s sentiments. “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 [Tarantino’s] going to transport us. I’m a huge fan of Singin’ in the Rain — movies about Hollywood. As an L.A. native, having read the script, it’s one of the most amazing screenplays he’s ever written, which is saying a lot, because he’s written some of the masterworks in cinema history. We are going to do our best job to make it fantastic.”
Despite these sweeping proclamations, Tarantino opted to keep the film’s plot close to the vest, saying only: “It’s very hush-hush and top secret. But I can tell you that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place in 1969, at the height of the counterculture hippie revolution and the height of new Hollywood. Street by street, block by block, we’ll transform Los Angeles into the Hollywood of 1969.”
DiCaprio has been cast to play a former western TV star named Rick Dalton who lives next door to Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. Pitt portrays Cliff Booth, Rick’s longtime stunt double. Tate’s murder at the hands of the Manson Family cult serves as a backdrop to the main story. Margot Robbie was previously reported to be in final negotiations to play the role of Tate.
Sony has set a release date of August 9th, 2019 — the 50th anniversary of the Tate murders — and given the production a $100 million budget. Tom Cruise is also reportedly being courted for a role.