Talk about a feat of casting.
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio will both star in Quentin Tarantino's next film, Sony Pictures announced Wednesday.
The film, titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, centers around two men who lived next door to Sharon Tate in the late 1960s.
In a press release, Tarantino describes it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), former star of a western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (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.”
“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," said Tarantino in a statement. "I’m very excited to tell this story of an LA and a Hollywood that don’t exist anymore. And I couldn’t be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio & Pitt as Rick & Cliff.”
The story is likely to be grisly. In 1968, a pregnant Tate, then married to director Roman Polanski, was murdered by members of the Manson family in her home.
The subject matter will undoubtedly conjure up controversy for Tarantino, who has recently earned ire for his behavior on set with Kill Bill star Uma Thurman. The director has apologized several times in recent weeks for his past actions, including for his friendship with Harvey Weinstein.
In October, Tarantino said he was ashamed that he was aware of some of Weinstein's abhorrent acts but did not take a stand against them. “I knew enough to do more than I did,” the director told The New York Times.
He recently apologized to Thurman after she went public with stories of Tarantino spitting in her face and choking her with a chain for two scenes in Kill Bill. Worse, he insisted she drive an unsafe car for a stunt at 40 mph so that her hair would blow in the right direction. Instead, she crashed into a tree.
In recent weeks Tarantino also apologized to Polanski rape victim Samantha Geimer for suggesting in a 2003 radio interview with Howard Stern that the then-teenage girl wasn't really raped and even "wanted it."
Now, will the public welcome his telling of Tate's story?
Both DiCaprio and Pitt have independently worked with Tarantino previously. Pitt starred in the director's 2009 Nazi war film, Inglorious Basterds. DiCaprio starred in his 2012 violent slavery drama, Django Unchained. Both films found their way to the Oscars.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will hit theaters worldwide on August 9, 2019.