Quentin Tarantino’s ninth directorial Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will explore the ’60s showbiz beyond the murder of Shannon Tate by the Charles Manson cult, say the producers of the film.
In an interview with the Entertainment Weekly, producers David Heyman and Shannon McIntosh said that they want to clear the “misconception” that the film only deals with the famous cult and the murders they committed.
The film features an ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Actor Margot Robbie is playing Tate, the most famous victim of the cult group.
According to the official plotline, film follows “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood”.
DiCaprio is playing Rick Dalton, former star of a western TV series, while Pitt is his longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth.
“Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognise anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbour, Sharon Tate.”
McIntosh, a frequent collaborator of Tarantino, said the film deals with the “loss of innocence that came about in 1969 with the Manson family”.
Heyman said, “It’s the three classes of Hollywood. There’s the high Hollywood of Sharon, the declining star of Rick, and there’s Cliff, who lives farther out and with more humble means.”
McIntosh said bringing the two reigning Hollywood stars of today, Pitt and DiCaprio, was an “absolutely magnetic” moment for them.
“I can’t wait for the world to see Brad’s performance in this. He’s so wonderful and charismatic and I think he is the Brad that people fell in love with years ago,” she said.
“Especially when he’s going toe-to-toe with Leo, his performance is amazing, he looks great and I think people will be reminded why he is the movie star that we know he is,” she added.
Heyman explained the relationship between two central characters, saying that while Pitt’s Booth is “at ease and comfortable” with his career and life, DiCaprio’s Dalton is “not the movie star that he had hoped to be, so he’s struggling”.
“He’s a working actor, but he’s not a movie star,” he said.
“These are two people who have a history together and the loyalty that they have for one another is really potent. It’s really a film about that friendship and about the power of that friendship as they go on their journeys together and separately,” he added.
Talking about Robbie’s Tate, Heyman said the audiences will get to explore the life of the star who ruled the ’60s.
“She (Tate) has been mythologised in some way through the murders but we get to see her as a person and we get to see her delight and enthusiasm and her sweetness,” Heyman said.
“She represents innocence and innocence lost in some way, and that innocence is very much — that sweetness, that goodness, that delight with the movies, with her, with her life — is something that we experience,” he added.
The producer claimed that the film is Tarantino’s “most personal” project till date.
“This is his memories of growing up in Los Angeles and being a fan of Hollywood,” he added.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will release in the US on July 26.