The Manson Family murders rocked Los Angeles in August 1969. Quentin Tarantino has assembled an all-star cast of Hollywood celebrities to explore these tragic events in the appropriately titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The latest set of A-list actors to sign on for this fictionalized biopic includes Al Pacino and Damian Lewis. Dakota Fanning, Emilie Hirsch, and former Beverly Hills, 90210 heartthrob Luke Perry have also reportedly signed on during the past 48 hours.
According to Variety, Tarantino’s latest film will reunite the director with some of Hollywood’s heaviest hitters. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt return to Tarantino-land to fulfill the lead roles of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth. DiCaprio famously injured himself while filming a scene in Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Pitt portrayed Nazi hunter Lt. Aldo Raine in the Academy Award Best Picture nominee Inglourious Basterds.
Although Once Upon a Time in Hollywood presents a fictionalized take on the Manson Family Murders, most of the film’s characters will be based on real people. For example, Deadline reported that Dakota Fanning will play Manson disciple Squeaky Fromme.
Emilie Hirsch is slated to showcase real-life victim Jay Sebring and Damian Lewis will portray beloved actor Steve McQueen.
Rounding out the all-star cast so far are many other notable actors and Quentin Tarantino favorites such as Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Timothy Olyphant, Burt Reynolds, Margot Robbie, Nicholas Hammond, Keith Jefferson, and Clifton Collins, Jr.
Details about the exact plot and focus of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood have been scant so far. But what has been confirmed is that Tarantino’s new movie will take the Pulp Fiction approach of weaving several seemingly unconnected stories together, all of which will be carried out during the summer of 1969.
Aside from this, it’s also been announced that Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters will be struggling to find their way in Hollywood’s ever-changing landscape. Their lives are entwined due to a career spent working with each other; DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton as the former star of a popular Western TV show and Pitt’s Cliff Booth as Dalton’s stunt double. Although neither has found recent work, the two will get wrapped up in the Manson Family murders because Dalton’s next-door neighbor just happens to be Sharon Tate.
Unlike the vast majority of the cast, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt will not be portraying real-life people. This mixture of truth and fiction is one of Tarantino’s staple moves in historically-based filmmaking.
Unsurprisingly, the movie’s worldwide release date will be August 9, 2019. This is exactly 50 years after the Manson Family murdered Rosemary and Leno LaBianca at Charles Manson’s behest. This release date is also one day past the 50-year anniversary of Sharon Tate’s murder. Tate was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when four of Charles Manson’s followers entered her home and viciously killed her and three other people.
Quentin Tarantino may be presenting a fictionalized account of the events surrounding these murders, but Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is virtually guaranteed to showcase the fear that rippled through Los Angeles in the aftermath of the Manson Family’s heinous deeds.