‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ Wikipedia Entry Repeatedly Vandalized With False Plot Summary

Stephen Silver - Author

Jul. 23 2019, Updated 11:55 a.m. ET

[Note: This story does NOT contain spoilers for the upcoming film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, although some of the links contained may do so.]

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, the new movie by director Quentin Tarantino that tells a tale of Hollywood in the late 1960s, arrives in theaters later this week. The film stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in a story that’s set loosely around the backstory of the Manson Family murders in 1969.

The new film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and its arrival in theaters is highly anticipated. Days before it arrives, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has set off a very strange battle on, of all places, Wikipedia. And it has shown what the limitations are of Wikipedia as a source of information.

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As pointed out on Twitter by multiple film critics and reporters who have seen the film, including Chris Lindahl of Indiewire, the plot section of the film’s Wikipedia entry is “hilariously false.”

The summary, as of Tuesday afternoon, is accurate up until the final paragraph, which lists a series of third-act events that do not actually take place in the film.

“There is a totally fake ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD summary up on Wikipedia,” writer Andrew Woods tweeted Monday. “Don’t even read it if you don’t want to know what DOESN’T happen.”

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The false plot summary has appeared, disappeared, and re-appeared multiple times since at least Monday. Journalist Noah Berlatsky tweeted that he removed the fake summary once but that it was then changed back.

Furthermore, the Wikipedia “talk” page for the film consists of a long argument between the page’s editors, going back several months, about how much plot summary to reveal, and how much to respect Tarantino’s wishes to not share spoilers. The argument segues, more recently, into an argument in which one editor claims to have actually seen the film at Cannes — using an Instagram photo as proof — and states that the listed plot on the page is not accurate.

The film, Tarantino’s first as director since The Hateful Eight in 2015, stars an expansive cast that includes DiCaprio, Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Bruce Dern, and Lena Dunham. The film also marks Luke Perry’s final movie appearance prior to his passing earlier this year. The film arrives a couple of weeks before the 50th anniversary of the murders, which took place in August of 1969.


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