Any Quentin Tarantino movie is a big event for film lovers, but his next film comes with an almost breathless anticipation. Ever since the announcement of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, which is set in Tinseltown during 1969—the year Charles Manson and his brutal cult terrorized the city—the conversations have been all over the place, the expectations mixed. Will the film make a mockery of the murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie)? Will Tarantino’s trademark violence cross the line into tastelessness when applied to one of the country’s most notoriously gruesome crimes? We don’t have the answers for that yet, but all signs point to a very different movie than we might have expected when we heard the words “Tarantino” and “Manson.” And now, we have our first look at the film courtesy of new stills from Vanity Fair.
See Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, and more in these exclusive images from director Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood https://t.co/L8EBmKmGzs
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) January 25, 2019
No major new information comes from the article, which describes the film as a “Western of a different stripe” and “an old-school L.A. story à la Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, the kind of city epic only a nostalgic of Tarantino’s wit and peculiarity could attempt to really do justice.” We get a closer look at Leonardo DiCaprio as actor Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his stuntman Cliff Booth, two fictional characters inspired by Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham. The two play neighbors to Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson Family in her Benedict Canyon home in August 1969, the year the movie takes place.
— MOVIEDEATHS (@MOVIEDEATHBLOWS) January 25, 2019
We also get another peek at Robbie as Sharon Tate, both in a striped T-shirt and shorts and in a mod black turtleneck/white skirt ensemble.
Margot Robbie nos bastidores de Once Upon a Time in Hollywood pic.twitter.com/dD6BmWtgl7
— Margot Robbie Brasil (@MargotRobbieBR) January 25, 2019
That second look matches the outfit Robbie first posted on Instagram back in August.
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It’s interesting that Tate doesn’t appear pregnant in either of these photos, as she was nearly nine months along when she was killed alongside her housemates. This means the film either takes place much earlier in 1969, or Tarantino is working some kind of revisionist history angle.
We also get our first look at Al Pacino as Marvin Schwarz, Dalton’s agent who is also a fictional character. The scene was filmed at Musso & Frank Grill, a legendary restaurant in Hollywood.
Moviegasm. Cinema history in one pic.
Leonardo Di Caprio.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Can’t wait. pic.twitter.com/olBS4A4z9M
— Hipster (@Hipsterrrific) January 25, 2019
And here we see Dalton on some kind of variety show, which tracks with the previously released information that he would be contemplating a trip to Italy after his career declines. A serious actor hamming it up for cameras this way definitely alludes to some sort of career identity crisis.
— Nina ☺️? (@Ninadjjd) January 25, 2019
That’s about all we can glean from these photos for now, but we’re eagerly anticipating that first trailer, which seems poised to drop soon if these photos are any kind of hint. Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood hits theaters on July 26.
Images: Sony Pictures/Vanity Fair