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« Podcast: Mission Impossible - Eighth Grade! | Main | Together & Apart: 10 Years with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants »
Tuesday
Aug072018

353 Days Until "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

Behold. It's the first image of Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film is still a year off, as it won't hit theaters until July 26th, 2019. The release date was originally August 9th, a tasteless choice as that will be the 50th anniversary of Sharon Tate's grisly murder at the hands of Charles Manson's followers. Tate was famously married to Roman Polanski and 8 months pregnant at the time (Tess, an Oscared hit in 1980, was dedicated to Tate, who had hoped Polanski would adapt it to screen). No signs of pregnancy in this photo so perhaps the film will not go there directly (we hope not).

The lead characters are a fictional actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt)...

The costumes are by frequent Madonna collaborator and two-time Oscar nominee Arianne Phillips. This is her first time working with Tarantino.

She's not the only first-time collaborator among the visual crew. Though Tarantino always keeps cinematographer Robert Richardson around, he also has a fresh production designer, Barbara Ling (). You can see they're recreating old movie theaters here from these set photos below.

The script appears to be a mixture of fictional characters and real life people and events, so Robbie isn't the only actor playing a famous star. Damian Lewis and Mike Moh will appear as Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee, respectively. No word yet on who will be playing Roman Polanski (or whether or not he'll even be portrayed in the film).

Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring, longtime friendsThere are a lot of 'above the title' style actors in the movie (Pacino, DiCaprio, Pitt, Robbie) but we personally like it best when Tarantino takes less acclaimed or formerly more successful actors and reinvents them, so we're interested to see these five in particular: Burt Reynolds plays George Spahn, a blind man who rented his ranch to the Manson family before the murders and slept with some of Manson's followers; Dakota Fanning plays 'Squeaky' Fromme, one of the more infamous member of Manson's cult; Emile Hirsch is Jay Sebring, Tate's former lover, close friend, and a hairstylist to the stars (Steve McQueen gave the eulogy at his funeral); James Marsden in an unknown role, but Marsden has never gotten his due for all that range and talent, we don't think; and Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich from The Sound of Music !!! and the first live action Spider-Man) portrays actor/director Sam Wanamaker. 

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Reader Comments (27)

Margot Robbie as Sharon is the lost uninspired,lazy thinking casting of recent times,let's get the hot young thing,let's show her feet add nauseum and watch her win the Oscar for it.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Or it's just perfect casting because she's a great actress and a dead ringer for Tate.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTr

Jennifer Lawrence was approached for this project. Thankfully someone else got the part.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I don't have much of a thing for white chicks, especially if they're blonde, but in that photo, she can get it.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

This whole production makes me nauseous.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Though I respect QT’s cinematic skills-with this project, I really expect that he will gleefully and graphically film Sharon Tate’s last moments with these Manson maniacs. He probably can’t wait to film Tate!s pregnant stomach beinf sliced open and he probably thinks that his due-hard fans can’t wait to see that ir the rest of the slaughter. I’ll wait until the notices come out before I bother with this project...

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Now whenever I look at Robbie I can't unsee Tonya Harding—or her version of Tonya Harding. I'm excited for that movie to be many years in the rearview mirror!

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Let's hope QT has the good sense not to cast himself as Manson.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I already thought Tate's murder recreation in the last American Horror Story season was really tasteless and disturbing in a bad way...

So i hope Tarantino won't disappoint me and only suggest the murders instead of throwing it in my face...

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClement_Paris

This is such thin ice, especially these days, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Tarentino. It's certainly intriguing.

And will Reynolds get back to Oscar for this?

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

Hollywood tends to take notice when Quentin's films are massive ($200+ million) hits. The bigger the hit, the more they reward him. Django Unchained (Oscar!) wasn't any better than Hateful Eight (not even a nomination for him) but it earned about double the money.

It has nothing to do with quality. My hope for this movie is that it's both one of his best (on the level of Kill Bill) and a massive hit. The latter part seems inevitable but I have hope for the former. He loves gore and Hollywood and nothing encapsulates the intersection of those things than this story.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Brad Pitt looks old and ill. I hope he is okay. I turned down the Sharon Tate role because I don't want to glorify violence or enable bad men like Quentin.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Chastain

What's with these fake Jessica Chastains?

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTr

OK, I am waiting on a Best Costume Design nomination just for Leo's outfit. Hot damn, that is a LOOK!

I think contemporary retro costuming (I.e. GLOW) is such an underrated craft, and one of many reasons I enjoy TFE for pointing these things out.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

It's QT. He puts my ass in the seat!

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

"Jennifer Lawrence was approached for this project. Thankfully someone else got the part."

Having moon-faced, crass, untalented Jennifer Lawrence play Margot's role would have been an assault on Sharon Tate's legacy. It is insulting that she was even considered.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

IMO Jennifer Lawrence would make a great Sharon Tate... I also like Robbie.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Aren’t the costumes kind of basic? They would get a C+ at a Halloween party - Brad looks like Brad and Leo looks like Leo. Maybe Margot is slightly inspired, but it’s just black and white.

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterErma

Is Manson himself in this script? If so, who is cast to play him?

August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRoger rabbit

Didn’t Sharon Tate’s sister say that JLaw wasn’t pretty enough to play her or something? So they ended up going with Robbie?

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

I'm looking forward to it, because Tarantino has oodles of skill and because I suspect he is a devotee of this milieu. Margot Robbie seems like good casting as Sharon Tate. Jennifer Lawrence would have been good in her own way. As for Leonardo DiCaprio, I'm waiting for his next great performance. This could be it. He looks very comfortable in that look.

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

This whole movie makes me sad.
That Quentin Tarantino is going with the worst of his tendencies, and so many people are going with him.

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteradri

As much as I love Tarantino's films, I can't get behind this one. It seems like it will be way too close to insulting.

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrittani

I don’t get the pearl clutching over the subject matter. Yes it’s a gruesome, tragic story involving real people—and it’s one of the most memorable, discussed, interpreted events of the 20th century. If you can’t make a movie about that five decades later, what violent crimes *can* you make a movie about?

It would be ridiculous for cinema to respectfully ignore events that sent shockwaves through an entire generation. And it's really troubling to deny Tarantino's right to bring his style and aesthetic to the stories he deems worth exploring.

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMiz Miz

Nat: DiCaprio's character doesn't have the name, but he's essentially playing Chuck Connors. Bounty Law (a western TV show that ran from 1958 to 1963), in all but name, is The Rifleman.

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Lawrence would have likely gotten me to see the film. I have little interest in it otherwise.

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Tarantino has many skills, but sadly taste and discipline are nowhere to be found.

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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