Despite his recent apology tour, and the revisiting of some very gross remarks he made re: Roman Polanski and Samantha Geimer, Sony is going ahead with Quentin Tarantino’s movie that he insists is not about Sharon Tate even though it will feature an actress portraying Sharon Tate and is set in 1969. Right now the movie is called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood—please, find a better title—and after months of speculation, Tarantino has released a statement confirming Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio will work with him once again, making a happy class reunion of sorts. Pitt, of course, starred in Inglorious Basterds and DiCaprio in Django Unchained, which are Tarantino’s two most successful movies, by a fairly wide margin. So if you’re wondering if there would be any career consequences for Quentin Tarantino, particularly for endangering Uma Thurman on the set of Kill Bill, the answer is no. He’s fine. He’s fine, and being supported by a major studio and two of the biggest stars in the world.
DiCaprio will star as a faded Western TV star called Rick Dalton, and Pitt will star as his stunt double, Cliff Booth. It’s 1969, the year of Easy Rider and the cusp of the independent revolution that would shape 1970s cinema. Rick and Cliff “don’t recognize” this burgeoning new Hollywood. Rick lives next door to Sharon Tate. So the movie isn’t ABOUT Sharon Tate, it just may well depict the brutal murder of her, her unborn child, and Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Steven Parent. Do you think Tarantino will be able to resist recreating one of the most famous and disturbing crimes in 20thcentury America?
A lot of people refer to the Tate murders as killing the Summer of Love, ending the free-spirited hippie era and ushering in the tumultuous, traumatic 1970s (still the worst decade in American history since the Civil War, though right now is giving it a run for its money). And you think Tarantino can stay away from that? You can think he can demonstrate restraint and NOT depict it, the guy who basically makes live-action Looney Tunes? HIM? He's going to do it. And he’s going to do it by making it about Tate’s fictional neighbors, Rick and Cliff. So just start bracing yourself for that right now.