Quentin Tarantino planning a new movie is always a joyous occasion, and one with a lot of pop culture references. His next planned film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is taking us back to the late 1960s. Centered around the Charles Manson murders, the film might add a legend to its cast: Burt Reynolds.
Last Tuesday, Deadline exclusively revealed that Reynolds is currently in talks to play the major role of George Spahn. This was the man who owned the Spahn Ranch, where the Manson Family lived when hatching their infamous murders. If the deal comes through, it could be a potentially award-worthy career move for Reynolds. His only Oscar nomination came in 1998, for Boogie Nights.
Tarantino was indirectly responsible for music legend Ennio Morricone getting his only Academy Award, so it’s not impossible!
In any case, Reynolds isn’t the only big name circling the project. Fellow legendary actor Kurt Russell, who was in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, is also in early talks for a role. Michael Madsen and Tim Roth, who have collaborated with Tarantino on multiple films, could also co-star.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are set to co-lead Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Both have worked with the director in the past: DiCaprio in Django Unchained and Pitt in Inglourious Basterds. It will be the first time the two Oscar-winning superstars work together, though. Last month at CinemaCon, Tarantino compared their chemistry to Robert Redford and Paul Newman, so that’s something to look forward!
DiCaprio’s The Wolf of Wall Street co-star, Margot Robbie, is also confirmed for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. She will be playing actress Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski’s late wife and the most high-profile Manson victim.
Over the past decade or so, the writer-director has focused its talents on period pieces, always giving them a twist. This is how we’ve gotten star-filled pieces like Inglourious Basterds (arguably his best), Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. This will be Tarantino’s first foray into the 1960s, on a subject he’s been fascinated with for a while: Manson.
Back in the 90s, Tarantino wrote a screenplay about two killers on the road who had a fascination with Manson. That screenplay ended up being Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, which was changed considerably during production. Tarantino has since disavowed that script, but has certainly focused his subsequent work on violence. This will be the first time he tackles the subject directly.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be released on August 9, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Tate murders.