Quentin Tarantino leaves the Old West behind for the even wilder west of Old Hollywood in his ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. And based on the first trailer, moviegoers are going to feel like they’ve stepped into a time portal beaming them directly back to the late 1960s. Besides the period-perfect fashions and hairstyles modeled by the movie’s stars — including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie — Tarantino famously finagled permission to shut down an entire block of L.A.’s Hollywood Boulevard and return the street to its 1969 glory. And unlike the film’s posters, no Photoshop or airbrushing was presumably used in the creation of those images.
Clocking in at a minute-and-a-half, this sneak peek keeps the film’s plot vague, but does establish the mythic scope promised by its title — a direct nod to the work of master director Sergio Leone, whom Tarantino has been paying homage to throughout his career. DiCaprio plays TV star Rick Dalton, who has forged a close professional and personal alliance with his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Pitt). Both men have big (screen) ambitions in a town that’s rapidly changing, and just so happen to live next door to a rising star, Sharon Tate (Robbie), whose husband, Roman Polanski (Rafał Zawierucha), just established himself on Hollywood’s A-list with the horror hit Rosemary’s Baby. Unbeknownst to everyone, the good times are about to come to a sudden and violent end: Lurking around the edges of the frame is self-styled prophet Charles Manson (Damon Herriman), whose name is synonymous with real — rather than reel — horror.
Besides Tate, Polanski and Manson, DiCaprio and Pitt’s fictional characters mix and mingle with such larger-than-life Hollywood personalities as Steve McQueen (Damian Lewis), Wayne Maunder (Luke Perry, who completed his role prior to his death earlier this month) and Bruce Lee (Mike Moh), who is seen giving Booth a crash course in Far East martial arts. That meeting is also an opportunity for some vintage Tarantino quips: When Lee points out that his hands are registered as “lethal weapons” because he could go to jail if he accidentally struck Booth and killed him. “Anybody accidentally kills anybody in a fight they go to jail — it’s called manslaughter,” Pitt notes wryly.
Twitter appears ready for the return of Tarantino, who has previously promised that he’s going to be hanging up his directorial spurs after his 10th film.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood looks like it’s going to be a gas gas gas. pic.twitter.com/16hzRHoFcV
— Hunter Lanier (@Lanierhunt64) March 20, 2019
Oh my God everything about this https://t.co/e4UrWzsbxA
— Koko- Di Axle-Bla (@axleblazeSA) March 20, 2019
Very much here for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood now. Tarantino does the Manson murders not so much, but using it as a peg on a kind of fin de siecle movie on the end of Hollywood’s golden age, yes.
— Mark Worgan 🇪🇺 (@worgztheowl) March 20, 2019
Stranger Things 3 trailer and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood trailer dropping the same day? Is it my birthday today??
— beeg beeg yoshi (@sephiecashcash) March 20, 2019
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cruises into theaters on July 26.
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