Word of Quentin Tarantino’s next project has started to leak out, which means it’s time for another round of “New Tarantino Movie Rumor Saga.” Indeed, unlike other filmmakers whose projects get announced via press release, or are films they’ve been talking about doing for years, the wholly unique Tarantino tends to put his movies together quietly until someone, somewhere lets it slip. Then the floodgates open and we’re left trying to put together the pieces—each new Tarantino movie is an event unto itself.
Such is certainly the case with Tarantino’s next film, which we learned last night will have something to do with the Manson Family murders—an event that culminated in 1969 and saw followers of cult leader Charles Manson brutally murder actress Sharon Tate in her home as well as four others. Tarantino has not officially revealed anything, so everything we know thus far comes from the trades, but last night’s initial reports noted that the filmmaker is working to put his cast together before setting the film up at a studio, and he’s had discussions with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence for roles.
And now we have a bit more clarity on who might be playing who, and what that tells us about Tarantino’s approach. Deadline notes that Pitt—who worked with Tarantino on Inglourious Basterds—is being courted to play the detective investigating the murder, while Variety’s Justin Kroll instead says he’s being eyed to play the prosecutor in the Manson trial. If Kroll’s correct on this one, it means Tarantino’s interested in going up through the trial of the Manson Family and not just chronicling their cult and violent actions. But either way, Pitt would be an exciting choice—although he could have a schedule conflict as Tarantino’s looking to shoot in Summer 2018 and that’s likely around the time that Pitt and David Fincher will finally start to roll cameras on World War Z 2, so this casting may or may not work out.
Tarantino famously considered Lawrence for the Hateful Eight role that eventually went to Jennifer Jason Leigh, but last night’s reports stressed that Lawrence is not in contention to play Sharon Tate. Instead, Deadline says the filmmaker has met with Margot Robbie about potentially taking on that part. They also note that Samuel L. Jackson is expected to have a lead role in the film—not a surprise, but great news nonetheless.
This is all very fluid at the moment as apparently no one has yet read the script, and with filming not taking place until next summer there’s plenty of time to put this together.
I’m curious to see what Tarantino has planned here. He’s not exactly one to tackle a straight true crime drama, and Inglourious Basterds put the “fiction” in “historical fiction.” Although I will admit that, considering Tarantino says he’s only making two more movies before retiring, I’m glad he’s not making yet another Western. Django Unchained is great and Hateful Eight is, well, solid, but if we’re only getting 10 Tarantino movies in total, I’d love more variety. A film about the Manson murders is certainly different.