With the real Charles Manson now confirmed to be dead at age 83, a Tarantino movie about the notorious murder spree ringleader and the Summer of Love might be just what the world needs right now. We do know that Margot Robbie is very close to being cast as Sharon Tate, with roles being offered to Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson, among others (I’m sure Christoph Waltz will wiggle his way in there, somehow). However, a few early plot details have also emerged, and they reframe the movie as something distinctly Tarantino.
Set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, Tarantino’s upcoming movie, according to a source who read the script, focuses on a male TV actor who’s had one hit series and is looking for a way to get into the film business. His sidekick—who’s also his stunt double—is looking for the same thing. The horrific murder of Sharon Tate and four of her friends by Charles Manson’s cult of followers serves as a backdrop to the main story.
This almost seems like a buddy comedy by way of author Bruce Wagner, who’s spent most of his career chronicling the daily life of LA’s failures in books like Dead Stars. I’m sure Tarantino’s interpretation will be much more violent, but where his last two or three films have dealt heavily with serious subject matter, this movie already seems like it has the potential to be a lot of fun, especially with the implication that the two lead characters look at least somewhat alike. I’m sure the buddy comedy plot line and the Manson plotline will intersect somehow, but that part is still unclear.
According to people who’ve read the script, it “has heart and a strong commercial appeal,” which is good news for Sony, the studio that will be working with Tarantino to release the upcoming film. After releasing The Hateful Eight internationally in 2015, Tarantino was reportedly happy with how the studio handled that release, raking in hundreds of millions in the foreign market. Now, Sony will be the primary financier for his next movie, and, according to a write-up in Collider:
Tarantino demanded a budget of $93 million to get the 1960s-set project made, just a little less than the $100 million it cost to get Django Unchained produced, a project that Sony helped bring in audiences for by handling foreign distribution. Apparently, the company’s performance was to Tarantino liking in that instance, especially since the movie made over $425 million worldwide. Tarantino’s next film will have to make about $50 million less than that to be profitable according to sources and Sony has reportedly given him final cut and immense creative control on the Manson picture, which means the film’s success will largely be on the director’s shoulders. That being said, a call to A-listers ranging from Brad Pitt to Margot Robbie has already been put out to lend the film an extra dose of oomph.
Additionally, the director has been given final cut on the project. However, certain contract stipulations were negotiated, including the percentage of gross that Tarantino would receive, and having the rights revert back to him after a decade or two. Regardless, these are pretty small compromises to make in the grand scheme of things, and everything seems to be moving along nicely for the new film!
Images: The Weinstein Company
Source: The Film Stage