Few directors can generate public interest for a movie based on their name alone. We all know filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, but even they're not infallible when it comes to delivering box office hits- after all, Scorsese's passion project Silence made only $7.1 million in the U.S. last year. At this point, the list of bankable directors can be limited to two filmmakers- Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino. The former has enough clout to get a mega-budget war movie like Dunkirk made, while Tarantino has long turned violent R-rated films into global smash hits. Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained both made well over $300 million worldwide, establishing the director's popular credentials to go with his cinephile adoration. Although Tarantino is coming off The Hateful Eight, his lowest grossing film in recent memory (although $155.8 million worldwide for a horrifyingly dark chamber piece isn't half bad), the director still has the power to do almost anything he wants. For a while after that film's 2015 release, word was quiet on the Tarantino front. But yesterday, the floodgates opened and we learned a bunch of new details about the famed director's next adventure.
The Hollywood Reporter exclusively revealed that Quentin Tarantino's next project will tackle the Manson Family murders, the series of grisly killings that gripped Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film will reunite Tarantino with Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the two super-producers who have both been regularly involved with the director's movies. Tarantino and the Weinsteins will reportedly shop the film around to various studios, hoping to gain financial support and distribution for the flick. In addition, THR reports that Tarantino has already been meeting with a variety of high-profile actors, including Basterds star Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence. According to Variety's Justin Kroll, Pitt is being considered for the role of Vincent Bugliosi, the man who prosecuted the Mansons, while Margot Robbie has discussed the role of Sharon Tate (the wife of director Roman Polanski, who was killed by a Manson supporter while she was 8 months pregnant). Deadline's Mike Fleming added that Samuel L. Jackson will likely star in the movie as well, which isn't a surprise given his relationship with the director.
So ultimately, what do we learn from all this information? Well, I think it's safe to say that this will be radically different from anything that Tarantino has ever done before. Tarantino has tackled slavery, Nazis, and even put all the nastiest aspects of America in one room in The Hateful Eight, but he has never dealt with real life characters before. And well, it'll be interesting to see how it all works out. I love pretty much all of Tarantino's movies, but I've never seen him as the most tasteful director out there. He deals with gratuitous violence and shocking bloodshed, so to see him deal with real people and victims who have living family members could be a bit disturbing. Nonetheless, there's so much to be excited about with this project. For starters, he's taking on the 1970s, which is immensely thrilling considering his love of that decade's cinema and music. Secondly, Tarantino is clearly going to be working with a great cast- we've seen him do great work with Pitt and Jackson before, but it'll be really exciting to see him team up with Lawrence or particularly Margot Robbie. And finally, there's nobody I trust more than Tarantino himself. He has vision to spare, and he only does a movie if he knows he can pull it off.
With that in mind, it's safe to say that his Manson movie is one of my most anticipated for the next several years. THR also revealed that Tarantino is hoping for a 2018 production start date, which means we'll likely see this one sometime in 2019. I can't wait to hear more about it.
Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company