Everything You Need To Know About Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
It’s almost been two years since it was first announced that Quentin Tarantino was sitting on a fresh screenplay that was ripe and ready to be unleashed to eager cinephiles as his next directorial pursuit. Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie were already in talks to play lead roles and the plot was intriguingly announced to be about the Manson Family murders. Time passed and we were slowly drip fed more information: the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino and Tim Roth got involved, production began and then, hey presto, a trailer for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood landed on our desktop screens last week.
Now, the trailer was great and all (did you really expect anything less from Tarantino?), but it’s left a few people confused as to what the film is actually about. A screenplay that was originally sold to film fans as Tarantino’s take on the Manson Family murders now features two fictional characters in the lead roles and Bruce Lee. Confused? Well, we don’t have all the answers to your burning questions, but we’re going to try our best to offer some clarity on what you can expect when the film is actually released. Read on to find out everything you need to know about Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Fact vs Fiction
Is Once Upon A Time In Hollywood real life, or is it just fantasy? Sorry to disappoint all of the true crime fans out there, but despite the fact that it’s set in Hollywood in 1969 and features characters from real life who were very much a part of that scene, Tarantino’s latest film is, for the most part, a work of fiction. DiCaprio and Pitt’s roles as fictional characters Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth are the giveaway, although they are said to be based on Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham, respectively. A dose of realism comes from Margot Robbie’s uncanny portrayal of Sharon Tate, Damon Herriman as Charles Manson and Dakota Fanning and Lena Dunham playing his followers.
What actually happens?
These days a trailer can end leaving you feeling as though you’ve already watched the entire film. This is not the case with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. As with any Tarantino flick, the plot is not likely to be straightforward and reportedly features many interweaving storylines à la Pulp Fiction.
What we do know is that it primarily centres around DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters, who play a struggling television actor and a stunt double, respectively. A glimmer of a plot line emerges with the revelation that DiCaprio’s character just so happens to live next door to Sharon Tate, who tragically became one of the Manson Family’s victims on 9 August 1969. See? The threads are already beginning to intertwine, but we’ll probably have to wait until film is released to get a better idea of what kind of plot they’ll actually weave.
From his overzealous use of racial slurs, to his past alliances with Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski, Quentin Tarantino is no stranger to controversy, and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood has raised a few eyebrows for two reasons. The first is the fact that Tarantino has chosen to make a comedy film that features the very real and very tragic murder of Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time, and some viewers are worried that the film will glorify Charles Manson – something that the media has an inexplicable habit of doing anyway. The second is that Tarantino found a role for actor Emile Hirsch, who did jail time in 2017 for assaulting studio executive Daniele Bernfeld. A friend of Bernfeld, Jameela Jamil took to Twitter after Hirsch’s casting was announced and called a spade a spade, dubbing the appointment an “Intense case of rich white male privilege.”
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, so that’s when you’ll be able to read thorough reviews and get a better idea of what the plot actually entails. Then we have to hang on for three more months before the film opens in the UK on 14 August. Remember, good things come to those who wait.