Move over Butch and Sundance. Fifty years after Paul Newman and Robert Redford made movie magic as Wild West outlaws in the Academy Award-winning film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, director Quentin Tarantino has found their modern-day counterparts. Teasing his buzzy, upcoming film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino compared his stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, to the retro dynamic duo of Newman and Redford.
Tarantino appeared with his leading man DiCaprio at CinemaCon, at the Forum at Caesar’s Palace, to hype Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. The controversial film will be set in the late 1960s, at the time the Manson murders took place in Hollywood.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Tarantino compared the edginess of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to his 1994 hit Pulp Fiction. The film’s superstar cast list, which reunites the director with his Django Unchained star, DiCaprio, and his Inglourious Basterds star, Pitt, will take viewers back to 1969 in more ways than one.
“Sony and myself will be coming to the theaters with the most exciting star dynamic since Paul Newman and Robert Redford,” Tarantino told the crowd of DiCaprio and Pitt.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) April 24, 2018
The comparison to Newman and Redford is a bold statement. Paul Newman and Robert Redford starred together in two epic collaborations: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), making them the ultimate leading men of the era as well as post-war movie legends.
Tarantino has long considered Brad Pitt to be his Robert Redford. In 2009, Quentin told Parade he loved watching Pitt grow as an actor over the years. When shooting Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino said the following of Pitt.
“There were moments when I was framing him up in the view finder, that I was like, ‘God, I feel I’m experiencing what Sydney Pollack must have felt shooting Jeremiah Johnson and looking at Robert Redford. Brad has that same quality that just shines through on camera. He’s just the man right now.”
According to The Wrap, for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, DiCaprio and Pitt will play a fading TV star and his live-in stunt double that happen to move next door to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate in the months before the actress was murdered by Charles Manson’s cult.
Of the film itself, Tarantino offered a few tidbits:
“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, hippy revolution and the height of new Hollywood. Street by street, block by block, we’ll transform Los Angeles into the Hollywood of 1969.”
And lest you think Tarantino is just tooting his own horn, Sony Pictures motion pictures group chairman Tom Rothman offered his endorsement of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, saying, “It’s the best screenplay that I have had the privilege to read.”
DiCaprio revealed that, with all the hoopla, he has yet to shoot “a single frame” of the project.
For more on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, check out the video below.