Quentin Tarantino’s much anticipated ninth studio film finally sees its release this year. Steeped in curiosity and controversy, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been a conversation-starter since it was announced with the name “Charles Manson” swirling around its initial plot.
But as we can see from the film’s first trailer, this is so much more than Manson. This is Tarantino’s take on Hollywood in the 1960s—and it looks fantastic.The trailer opens with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth during a television interview. Dalton is a famous Hollywood actor and Booth is his stunt double, in a relationship that mimics the real-life bond between Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham. “Actors are meant to a lot of dangerous stuff,” DiCaprio as Dalton tells the camera. “Cliff here is meant to carry the load.”
We then see several first glimpses at other stars of the film, including Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate and Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, the two real-life figures who gave Once Upon a Time in Hollywood its initial push. On August 9, 1969, Tate was murdered in her home, in a vicious scheme orchestrated by Manson and his cultish “family.” There’s no evidence quite yet that the film will even tackle this specific incident, or if Tarantino will pull the revisionist history card, but seeing them here is tantalizing all the same.
We also get a peek at Mike Moh as Bruce Lee, training Booth, and some blink-and-you’ll-miss-it turns from Emilie Hirsch as Jay Sebring; Margaret Qualley as Kitty Kat, a Manson girl; and what appears to be Kurt Russell as a movie director.
The film is a passion project for Tarantino, who told The Hollywood Reporter than he’s been working on the script for five years. “I’m very excited to tell this story of an L.A. and a Hollywood that don’t exist anymore,” he said. “And I couldn’t be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio and Pitt as Rick and Cliff.”
We can’t wait to learn more about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as its July 26 release date nears.
Images: Sony Pictures