Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Manson family movie will be called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and will star Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt


Tony Sokol

Feb 28, 2018

When Charles Manson died in a Bakersfield hospital at the age of 83 on Nov. 19, 2017, Quentin Tarantino had just sold a movie about the murders that ended the decade of love and peace to Sony. It was untitled, and the cast was still in talks. They stopped talking and made it official. Brad Pitt will join Leonardo DiCaprio in the film, which will be called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

DiCaprio will star, but not as Manson, he will play former western TV star Rick Dalton. Pitt will play Cliff Booth, Dalton’s longtime stunt double.

“Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor…Sharon Tate,” Tarantino, who wrote and will direct the film, said in a statement.

Tarantino describes Once Upon a time in Hollywood will be written and directed by Tarantino “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

“I’ve been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was 7 years old,” Tarantino said in a statement. “I’m very excited to tell this story of an L.A., and a Hollywood that don’t exist anymore. And I couldn’t be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio and Pitt as Rick & Cliff.”

Valley of the Dolls star Tate, wife of Rosemary’s Baby director Roman Polanski, was an icon of the sixties. She made the perennial penal system poster boy Manson famous. Tate was pregnant when she was killed at her L.A. home at 10050 Cielo Drive in 1969.

Tarantino also reportedly met with Samuel L Jackson. But Jackson won’t be singing “Revolution 9,” I mean reciting “Revelations,” in the upcoming movie. The film is set in Los Angeles during the Tate-LaBianca murders, but there is no word yet on whether the film will recreate the historic events or use them as the backdrop to another story.

Manson was the leader, and proposed lead singer, of the Manson Family, a fringe group of outsiders who became the most famous mass murderers in America. In 1969 they committed a string of murders in the Los Angeles area that included director Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate. The murders were brutal. Tate was stabbed 16 times. Manson was trying to instigate a race war where he would be put in charge of the survivors after the fallout. The crime shocked America and brought an abrupt end to the revolutionary decade. 

if anyone can bring the out the horrors of the scene it is Tarantino. The director practically invented The Weinstein Company, bringing Harvey Weinstein hit after hit, including Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, The Hateful Eight and the Kill Bill movies. The budget for the new film is reportedly in the $100 million range. The director has more than hinted that the upcoming #9, as it is being called, will be his second to last movie.

Pre-production has begun and the film is set the begin shooting in the middle of 2018. Tarantino plans for a 2019 theatrical release date.