You may not be aware, but Quentin Tarantino is currently shooting his new movie. It was 2016 when his last film, The Hateful Eight, was released, and anticipation is steadily building for his new film. Here's what we know so far.
It's got a grandiose title
It's not strictly about serial killer Charles Manson
When the movie was first announced, it seemed Tarantino was embarking on a biographical film about infamous psychopath Charles Manson. A figure synonymous with the dark and difficult end to the sixties, Manson and his followers, or 'family', were responsible for orchestrating the brutal murder of Sharon Tate, wife of film director Roman Polanski.
However, Tarantino has since played down such talk, stating, "It's not Manson, it's 1969". The scope of the film therefore sounds wider than what was initially thought.
Vanity Fair revealed the following plot details
"Set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, Tarantino's upcoming movie, according to a source who read the script, focuses on a male TV actor who's had one hit series and his looking for a way to get into the film business. His sidekick—who's also his stunt double—is looking for the same thing. The horrific murder of Sharon Tate and four of her friends by Charles Manson's cult of followers serves as a backdrop to the main story."
It's being distributed by Sony
Variety reports a fierce bidding war for Tarantino's script, which was eventually clinched by Sony chief Tom Rothman after a battle with other major studios Paramount and Warner Bros. With a hefty budget of $100 million, it seems the studio have a lot of confidence in the project.
It's being produced by David Heyman
Don't know the name? What if we told you he's the man behind Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts? We imagine your interest has just been piqued even further.
Leonardo DiCaprio will star
Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio stunned as the vile, racist plantation owner Calvin Candie in the director's Django Unchained. In fact, he got so into the part, he cut his hand open for real when filming the dinner table sequence. And after months of speculation, Variety confirms his involvement in Tarantino's secretive new project.
The news that he and Tarantino are reuniting is therefore very exciting. (It'll be DiCaprio's first film since clinching the Oscar for The Revenant.)
DiCaprio is playing an actor called Rick Dalton
According to Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr., DiCaprio plays "an actor who had his own Western show, Bounty Law, that ran on the air from 1958 to 1963. His attempt to transition to movies didn’t work out and in 1969 — the film is set at the height of hippy Hollywood movement– he’s guesting on other people’s shows while contemplating going to Italy which has become a hotbed for low-budget Westerns."
Fleming Jr. further describes the plot as a "Pulp Fiction-esque tapestry of Los Angeles during the summer of the Manson murders."
Brad Pitt will be reuniting with Tarantino
Pitt played the scenery-chewing Nazi hunter Lt. Aldo Raine in Tarantino's World War II black comedy Inglourious Basterds. And Variety reports he's back for more, here playing stuntman Cliff Booth to DiCaprio's Rick Dalton. (More on which below.)
The first image of Pitt and DiCaprio has been revealed
There's a script outline
Sony describe the movie (via Deadline) as "a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood... The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don't recognize anymore… But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor… Sharon Tate."
Oscar nominee Margot Robbie is in the movie
Margot Robbie is currently riding high off her awards-buzzed performance as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. She now collaborates with Tarantino for the first time, playing ill-fated actress Sharon Tate (wife of Chinatown director Rosemary's Baby), who was brutally murdered by Manson's followers in a crime that shocked Hollywood to its core. In the movie, Tate is next-door neighbours with Rick, allowing Tarantino to interweave truth and fiction in his usual audacious fashion.
And Al Pacino is starring too
Just when you thought that cast couldn't get buzzier, along comes The Godfather and Scarface legend Al Pacino to give the movie some added welly. He's playing Dalton's agent Marvin Shwarz.
The rest of the cast is just as extraordinary
There's War of the Worlds' Dakota Fanning, playing Manson acolyte Squeaky Fromme (who later tried to assassinate American President Gerald Ford), Luke Perry (TV's Riverdale) as a character named Scotty Lancer, and Lone Survivor's Emile Hirsch as hairstylist (and eventual Manson victim) Jay Sebring.
All of the above join Tarantino regulars Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and The Hateful Eight) and Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and The Hateful Eight).
Add in Boogie Nights actor (and 70s style icon) Burt Reynolds, here playing George Spahn, the man who leased his land to Manson's followers, and that's one heck of a cast working under one of modern cinema's most provocative directors.
It's released next year
The movie opens worldwide on 9th August 2019. It remains to be seen if we'll get the movie in the same month, but there is a precedent: 2009's Inglourious Basterds was released in the same month in the UK, proving a box office hit. The movie's release in 2019 is set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Tate's murder.
Tarantino has issued a statement
"I've been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles county most of my life, including in 1969, when I was seven years old," he says. "I'm very excited to tell this story of an LA and a Hollywood that doesn't exist anymore. And I couldn't be more excited about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio and Pitt as Rick and Cliff."
It may be Tarantino's penultimate movie...
Following this, Tarantino's reportedly final movie will be his long-gestating Star Trek project. Dyed in the wool fan Tarantino has expressed his desire to make a "hardcore" Trek movie, according to Vanity Fair, working with The Revenant writer Mark L. Smith and producer JJ Abrams. Don't believe Tarantino's Trekkie credentials? This episode of the Nerdist podcast may just change your mind.
Even so, the prospect of a world with no more Tarantino movies in it may have you reacting like this...