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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Release date, trailer, reviews and full cast for epic new Quentin Tarantino movie

Christopher Hooton, Jacob Stolworthy

Quentin Tarantino’s next film is set to be a landmark entry into his filmography, a period piece exploring hippie culture and the Hollywood studio system in late 1960s LA.

Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood stars the dream pairing of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, has a generous budget of $95-$100 million, and will no doubt be one of the biggest films of 2019.

Here’s everything we know about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood:

The plot

OUATIH keeps being referred to as the “Manson movie”, but its scope looks to be wider than that. It will certainly not be a biopic on cult leader and serial killer Charles Manson, and, instead, the Tate-LaBianca murders look to be more of a backdrop to the narrative.

As Deadline put it, calling the film a Manson movie “is akin to calling Inglourious Basterds a movie about Adolf Hitler, when the Nazi leader was only in a scene or two".

Tarantino described it in a statement as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.

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“The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt),” he explained. “Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognise anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbour … Sharon Tate."

Tarantino is a cinephile with a keen interest in film history, and the title Once Upon a Time in Hollywood suggests this will be his portrait of a town he knows very well.

“I’ve been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was seven years old,” Tarantino added. “I’m very excited to tell this story of an LA and a Hollywood that doesn't exist anymore."

The tone

Tarantino has said that OUATIH is “probably the closest [film] to Pulp Fiction that I have done,” suggesting that it will have a tapestry-like quality, and possibly a non-linear narrative.

Cinematographer Robert Richardson elaborated to IndieWire: “I think the tone of it is – it’s difficult to describe because it’s very fresh, but it oscillates between humourous, serious, spooky; it’s playful. It’s not easily describable."

The trailer

You can find the first teaser trailer here.

Back in June, DiCaprio (below) and co-star Margot Robbie (above) both shared “first looks” from the set:

The cast

OUATIH’s cast is one of the greatest and most eclectic ever assembled, involving everyone from Al Pacino to Lena Dunham, and involving portrayals of Hollywood figures like Roman Polanski and Bruce Lee.

The full cast list is as follows:

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton

- An actor who starred in the Western television series Bounty Law from 1958 to 1963. His attempt to transition to movies did not work out and in 1969, he is struggling, guesting on other people’s shows while contemplating going to Italy – which has become a hotbed for low-budget Westerns. He is neighbours with Sharon Tate.

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth

- Rick’s longtime stunt double and close friend.

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate

- A pregnant actress married to Roman Polanski, who was murdered in her home by followers of Charles Manson.

Bruce Dern as George Spahn (the part originally belonged to Burt Reynolds, but he died in September 2018 before filming his scenes)

- An 80-year-old near-blind man who rented his LA ranch out to be used as the location for Westerns. Manson convinced Spahn to allow him and his followers to live on the ranch, in the months before they murdered Sharon Tate and six others. In exchange for rent, Manson coerced his female followers into hopping into bed with the ranch owner and serving as his seeing eye guides.

Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen

- An actor and friend of Jay Sebring, who was invited by him to the home of Sharon Tate for a dinner party, but he was unable to show up.

Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder

- An actor who co-starred on the western television series Lancer.

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Damon Herriman as Charles Manson

Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring

- A Hollywood hairstylist and friend of Sharon Tate who was murdered in the home of Tate by followers of Charles Manson.

Dakota Fanning as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme

- A member of the infamous Manson family who obtained her nickname whilst living on George Spahn’s ranch.

Charles Manson will feature in the film, but not be the centre of it (Rex Features)

Clifton Collins Jr as Ernesto “The Mexican” Vaquero

Keith Jefferson as Land Pirate Keith

Nicholas Hammond as Sam Wanamaker

- An actor-director who, in 1969, began a campaign to rebuild the Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

Al Pacino as Marvin Shwarz

- Rick Dalton’s agent.

Scoot McNairy as Business Bob Gilbert

- A fictional cowboy character on Bounty Law.

Spencer Garrett as Allen Kincade

- The television personality and interviewer to Hollywood’s elite.

Mike Moh as Bruce Lee

- The international actor-stuntman who choreographed fight scenes for The Wrecking Crew, which starred Sharon Tate. Following her murder, he attended her funeral and was also privately investigated.

Lena Dunham as Catherine Share:

- A member of the Manson family who was not directly involved with the Tate murders.

Austin Butler as Charles “Tex” Watson:

- A central member of the Manson family who, alongside three other members, was directly involved in the Tate murders.

Rafal Zawierucha as Roman Polanski:

- An acclaimed filmmaker and husband of Tate, who was in Europe working on a film when Tate was murdered.

Samantha Robinson as Abigail Folger:

- Wojciech Frykowski‘s lover, as well as heiress to the Folger coffee fortune. She was murdered in the home of Sharon Tate by followers of Charles Manson.

Rumer Willis as Joanna Pettet

- A famous English actor

Dreama Walker as Connie Stevens

- An American actor who starred in Hawaiian Eye .

Maya Hawke as Flower Child

Margaret Qualley as Kitty Kat

Victoria Pedretti as Lulu

Madisen Beaty as Katie

Lorenza Izzo as Francesca Cappuci

Eddie Perez as Land Pirate Eddie

Maurice Compte as Land Pirate Mao

Costa Ronin as Voytek Frykowski

In undisclosed roles:

Zoë Bell, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, James Marsden, Julia Butters, James Remar, Martin Kove, Brenda Vaccaro, Nichole Galicia, Craig Stark, Marco Rodríguez, Ramón Franco, Danny Strong, Sydney Sweeney, Mikey Madison and Raul Cardona.

The script

Tarantino is known for his novelistic scripts and peerless talent for writing dialogue. Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman said of the director’s latest script: “It’s the best screenplay that I have had the privilege to read."

DiCaprio added: “As an LA native, having read the script, it’s one of the most amazing screenplays. We are going to do our best job to make it fantastic."

The release date

26 July, 2019.

The film was originally set for release on 9 August 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders, but Sony has since brought the date forward slightly (26 July).

Principal photography began in Los Angeles, California on 18 June 2018 and wrapped on 1 November 2018.

The poster

A new poster for the movie was released on Monday, 18 March 2019, featuring Pitt and DiCaprio.


A new poster for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' was released on 18 March, 2019. (Sony Pictures Releasing)