‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Trailer: Tarantino, DiCaprio, and Pitt Return to Los Angeles

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Actor Brad Pitt driving a vintage Volkswagen while filming "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" on Hollywood Boulevard on October 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Albanese/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Quentin Tarantino is back with the trailer for his 10th (or is it 9th) feature film: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

This teaser trailer reveals less than any other Tarantino trailer to date. You’d be excused for watching this teaser and not having a clue what the movie is about, but we do know this… the film is about a Western television star (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double(Brad Pitt) as the Golden Age of Hollywood comes to an end, and the Manson family rises to infamy.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Trailer Review

A Man For All Seasons

The release of a Quentin Tarantino film is always cause to celebrate. The famed writer/director has only made 10 films in the 27 years since he burst onto the scene with Reservoir Dogs and just about all of them are winners.

Tarantino made a name for himself with quirky, violent, LA-centric crime films like Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and his masterpiece, Pulp Fiction, whose poster will forever grace the walls of college boys the world over in much the same way as Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly does for ladies. But after Jackie Brown, Tarantino took six years off and rebirthed himself as a genre director with Kill Bill, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight.

After tackling kung fu, grindhouse car films, WWII pictures, and westerns, Tarantino is back to the land that made him famous in the first place, Los Angeles, but this time, its Los Angeles in the 60s, the Golden Age of Hollywood, with all the glitz and glamor that that implies.

Reunited And It Feels So Good

Tarantino is a director that actors love to work with. They know they’ll get to play colorful characters and deliver dialogue from one of the industry’s most well-known writers. And then, of course, there are the awards that come with being involved in a Tarantino picture, and the allure of all of it being captured on film.

That’s why Tarantino has developed a loyal cast of Tarantino Players, actors who would walk on hot coals (or just take a pay cut) for a chance to work with him again. And this film is no exception.

The cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, who hasn’t made a movie since The Revenant in 2015. DiCaprio, previously of Django Unchained, plays Rick Dalton, a faded Western actor clinging to relevance.

Brad Pitt makes his first return to Tarantino Land since Inglourious Basterds ten years ago. Here he plays Cliff Booth, a stunt-double to DiCaprio’s Dalton.

Rounding out the Tarantino Players are Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, and Michael Madsen. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see Samuel L Jackson show up in the margins.

And then there are the newbies. Legendary actor Al Pacino makes his Tarantino debut as Dalton’s agent. Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Damian Lewis, Emile Hirsch, Clifton Collins Jr, James Marsden, Scoot McNairy, Rumer Willis, Lena Dunham, and the late Luke Perry also star in undisclosed roles. But the big name this time around is Margot Robbie, who has previously starred with DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street and here stars as Sharon Tate.

A Storm in the Distance

Tarantino has a long history of bringing characters, both fictional and non-fiction, into his movies and in some cases, bending reality to his will.

For instance, in Django Unchained, Tarantino named Django’s wife Broomhilda Von Shaft, making his creations the great-great-great-great grandparents of famed Blacksploitation legend, John Shaft.

But Inglorious Basterds is where things really got crazy. Not only does Tarantino include the likes of Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler, going so far as to say “I’m such a great filmmaker that even HITLER likes the sniper I invented,” but he even rewrote history, having his Basterds and Shosanna Dreyfus murder Hitler in a movie theater, to no small amount of controversy.

It is that last bit that has some people concerned.

As I said, the trailer doesn’t lay out much in terms of plot. However, there are a few things that we do know. For instance, Margot Robbie is playing the late Sharon Tate, one of the victims of the Manson family murders that shocked the nation.

We also know that Rafal Zawierucha is playing Roman Polanski, Tate’s husband and father of her unborn child at the time of the murder.

And then there is the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of Damon Herriman as Charles Manson.

There is some concern that Tarantino will exploit the gruesome Tate murders, but there is a greater fear that he will rewrite history, bringing his characters into the world and stopping the murders, or at least getting vengeance. We’ll just have to wait and see.

The film was originally going to be released on August 9th, the anniversary of Tate’s murder. Fortunately, that date was changed to avoid the ick factor.

Last Word On Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is one of the most anticipated films of the summer and for good reason. While the trailer may not have shown much, it surely has my attention.

Also, it’s nice that Tarantino finally go to make his ‘Once Upon A Time’ movie. Fun Fact: Before landing on the title for Inglorious Basterds, Tarantino had considered calling the film Once Upon A Time in Nazi-Occupied France, which became a title card in the film’s teaser trailer.

The film is set to release on July 26, 2019. Mark your calendars.

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