Director Quentin Tarantino‘s upcoming Manson murders-inspired film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, has finally found its Charles Manson. According to The Wrap, Damon Herriman (Justified) has been cast as the notorious cult leader. Also joining the significantly large cast are Rumer Willis as British actress and original Casino Royale star Joanna Pettet, Dreama Walker as singer Connie Stevens, Margaret Qualley,Victoria Pedretti, Madisen Beaty, and Costa Ronin as Polish actor Voytek Frykowski. The latter was director Roman Polanski’s childhood friend, and one of the five victims killed in Polanski’s residence with his wife Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie.
Qualley is said to be playing a character named Kitty Kat,while Beaty portrays Katie, and Pedretti is Lulu. Readers of the true crime book Helter Skelter might know those are nicknames for several of the young girls Manson recruited to do his killings for him. “Kitty” was actually Kathryn Lutesinger, “Katie” was Patricia Krenwinkel, and Lulu was Leslie Van Houten. It’s possible the girls are only going by their nicknames in the film to avoid legal complications with the real people they are portraying, two of whom are still in prison.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set in the summer of 1969 in and around Los Angeles, where a former TV star named Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo Dicaprio, along with his friend and longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt, attempt to find a place into the rapidly changing movie industry in the late ’60s (see the below photo). This is the era when movies like Rosemary ‘s Baby and Easy Rider were changing cinema forever, leaving a lot of veteran actors feeling left behind. Somehow, these fictional characters will get embroiled in the two night murder spree committed by Charles Manson’s so-called Family.
The ninth film from the writer-director Tarantino is, according to the director’s previous statements, meant to be his second to last film, as he plans to quit after his tenth movie. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set to be released by Sony Pictures on July 26, 2019. just weeks before the 50th anniversary of the crime.
Are you excited for Tarantino’s exploration of this dark moment in American history? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.
Images: FX / Sony Pictures