When the news broke that Quentin Tarantino’s next film would revolve around the Charles Manson murders, reaction was mixed to say the least. However, it turns out that initial report—and the reduction of this movie as being about the Manson murders—was a bit misleading. As Tarantino now sets out to find a new home for the film in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, new details have surfaced about the film and who Tarantino is eyeing to star.
Indeed, Weinstein’s relationship with Tarantino goes back to Reservoir Dogs, which Weinstein’s Miramax acquired at the Sundance Film Festival. Weinstein’s company, be it Miramax or The Weinstein Company, has been behind every Tarantino movie since, and now the filmmaker is cutting ties with his home studio in the wake of the deeply troubling sexual harassment and assault allegations regarding Weinstein.
As previously reported, Tarantino is allowing studios to read his latest screenplay, after which he’ll settle on which studio to distribute the new film. The movie is being referred to as #9 because it’s Tarantino’s ninth film, and it’s being read this week by every major studio except Disney (for obvious reasons). And no, Tarantino is not considering streaming giants like Netflix or Amazon—the cinephile wants a traditional theatrical studio for this next film.
So what’s the movie about? Deadline says it’s a drama set in late 1960s or early 1970s Los Angeles, and while it does involve the Manson murders, sources tell Deadline that calling this a Charles Manson movie is akin to calling Inglourious Basterds an Adolf Hitler movie. The script is said to have strong commercial appeal and, per Deadline, if there’s one film in Tarantino’s filmography it can be best compared to it’s Pulp Fiction. As previously reportedly Margot Robbie has been offered the role of Sharon Tate, who was killed by Manson’s cult members, and Tarantino has also apparently written roles for Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson. However, no casting commitments have been made just yet, and it’s unclear if any of the aforementioned casting will work out—although you know Jackson will find time in his schedule for this.
Indeed, at one time Tarantino had his eye on Jennifer Lawrence for the role of Daisy in The Hateful Eight, but subsequently opted to go older in the casting and set Jennifer Jason Leigh instead. And while both Pitt and DiCaprio have worked with Tarantino before to great success, they’re both incredibly picky (and in-demand) performers.
Filming on the new Tarantino movie isn’t expected to begin until mid-2018 for a 2019 release so there’s plenty of time to get schedules aligned, but Pitt is potentially shooting World War Z 2 for David Fincher next year so it’s possible his schedule may not work out. The budget for this new film is said to be in the range of Django Unchained, which was made for $100 million, so clearly the canvas Tarantino is painting on here is much larger than that of, say, The Hateful Eight.