Fifty years ago, actress Sharon Tate, along with her unborn baby and several others, was butchered to death by the followers of Charles Manson. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, by all reports, isn’t about the terrifying Manson murders, but it certainly does include them, with Margot Robbie stepping into the role of the late actress. The film itself — which brings together Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio — is not based on a true story at all.
“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 7 years old,” the writer/director offered in a statement. “I’m very excited to tell this story of an L.A. and a Hollywood that doesn’t exist anymore. And I couldn’t be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio and Pitt as Rick and Cliff. The film is a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton [Leo], former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth [Brad]. 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.”
Speaking of Sharon, her sister, Debra Tate, was interviewed by TMZ about the movie, and it was obvious that she was less than pleased: “To [actors], it’s a paycheck and these people just don’t care. They are terribly hurtful to the actual family and all the living victims. They don’t give a s–t. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt and throwing all their social responsibility to the wind.”
Other cast members include Al Pacino as Rick Dalton’s agent, Marvin Shwarz; Damian Lewis as actor Steve McQueen; Dakota Fanning as Manson “family” member Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme; Bruce Dern as nearly blind rancher George Spahn (a role originally intended or Burt Reynolds), who allowed Manson and his followers to live on his ranch; and the late Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be released on July 26, 2019.