Leonardo DiCaprio treats the world to a “first look” at he and on screen partner Brad Pitt in the highly anticipated film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, the film takes place during the summer of 1969 and will center around former TV western star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his long time stuntman/roommate Cliff Booth (Pitt). As the two attempt to make the difficult leap from television to film in a rapidly changing Hollywood, Charles Manson and his cult of followers plan a crime that will bring the town to its knees. Said to be closest to Pulp Fiction than any other film he’s made, we can guess that Tarantino’s ninth movie will be a web of subplots revolving around the brutal murder of actress Sharon Tate.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood has become something of a static fixture in the headlines as of late. With a steady stream of noteworthy casting announcements including Margot Robbie, Burt Reynolds, and Al Pacino, fans are beginning to wonder how long the acclaimed director can possibly maintain this level of excitement.
On Wednesday, via an Instagram post on DiCaprio’s official account, fans caught a glimpse of what Tarantino has dubbed “the most exciting star dynamic duo since Robert Redford and Paul Newman.” While we’re all excited for a pairing to rival Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), it has become apparent from this first image that the characters are actually based on Burt Reynolds and his stuntman Hal Needham.
The image features a dapper Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) looking very Burt Reynolds-esque with a monocle necklace over a mustard colored turtleneck. By his side, his loyal stuntman Cliff Booth (Pitt) sporting Hal Needham’s trademark aviator sunglasses. Also, may I remind you of the inescapable fact that Reynolds and Needham were roommates! His wife having thrown him out, Needham knocked on Reynolds door with the hopes of staying for a few nights. He ended up staying for over 11 years.
Inclusion of little pieces of Hollywood history like this are a testament to Tarantino’s love for his craft. It’s the secret ingredient that elevates his brand of cult b-movie into art. It’s also one of the many reasons why fans cannot wait to see this film. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood hits theaters August 9th, 2019, the 50th anniversary of Sharon Tate’s death. Can Tarantino maintain this level of excitement until then? He seems like a man with more than a few tricks up his sleeves.