Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is becoming something of an alumni class reunion. The film’s stars, Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained), Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds), Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs), Michael Madsen (Kill Bill) and Tarantino newcomer Burt Reynolds.
Set during the summer of 1969, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will offer a glimpse at a tumultuous period in the famed neighborhood’s dark past. Former TV western actor Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his long time stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) struggle to adapt in a rapidly changing industry. Meanwhile, a murderous cult make plans that will send shock-waves through Hollywood. Charles Manson and his group “The Family” will carry out one of America’s most gruesome and shocking crimes. They brutally murder beloved actor Sharon Tate in her home, which happens to be next door to Rick and Cliff.
Burt Reynolds will play George Spahn, owner of Spahn Ranch where the Manson Family hatched their heinous plans. Spahn had rented his ranch to the film industry throughout much of the 1940’s and 1950’s. The ranch was host to a number of westerns, including the popular TV shows Bonanza and The Lone Ranger. In the 1960’s the waning popularity of the western genre left the property vacant. Manson and his followers moved in. In lieu of payment for use of the ranch, Manson ordered the women of his group to sleep with the elderly man. The addition of this historical character to what we can assume is a revisionist story raises interesting questions. We can speculate that our fictional lead characters, as former TV western stars, may have further connections to the gruesome crime than just living next door.
Roles have yet to be announced for Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen. However, the three Tarantino veterans are said to be playing smaller cameo roles. We’ll have to keep holding our breath for a Charles Manson casting announcement.
“This is probably the closest to Pulp Fiction that I’ve done.” – Quentin Tarantino
As further details are revealed, it’s clear that Tarantino fans have a lot to be excited about. At last month’s CinemaCon, after the critically acclaimed director made a surprise appearance, Tarantino was quoted as saying “This is probably the closest to Pulp Fiction that I’ve done. It has two lead characters and a ton of supporting characters.” During a Sony panel discussion he praised his stars as “The most exciting star dynamic duo since Robert Redford and Paul Newman.”
The film will hit theaters August 9th, 2019, the 50th anniversary of Sharon Tate’s brutal slaying. For further news and updates, including who will fill the role of Charles Manson, stay tuned to Nightmare on Film Street. Be sure to follow Nightmare on Film Street on all your favorite social media platforms. Let us know who YOU think should play Charles Manson.