Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for director Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (yes, the ellipsis, we know). The movie takes place in 1969 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a faded TV Western star who’s trying to come to terms with a rapidly changing Hollywood landscape alongside his longtime stunt double, played by Brad Pitt. Oh, and they live next door to actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) the summer she was murdered by followers of Charles Manson.
Tarantino trailers are always upbeat and stylish, but here it feels a bit icky. While Tarantino doesn’t shy away from heavy settings–Inglourious Basterds is World War II, Django Unchained deals with slavery–this is the first time a real person has been a major character in a Tarantino movie. I’m not exactly sure how to deal with the Sharon Tate of it all. It’s one thing to have one of your characters unload a machine gun into Hitler’s face. It’s Hilter. Fuck that guy and respecting what really happened to him. But Sharon Tate was an innocent victim who was slaughtered in her own home by cultists. It’s difficult for me to reconcile that element of the story when you’ve got DiCaprio dancing and Pitt cracking jokes.
Of course, this is just a trailer and there’s no way to judge the film based on this brief teaser, but this is the first time I’ve looked ahead to a Tarantino film with a bit of dread rather than excitement. I’m more than ready for him to prove me wrong when the film arrives this summer.
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is set for release on July 26th. Check out the first trailer below:
Cinematographer Robert Richardson previously told us about the film’s unique tone:
“I think the tone of it is—it’s difficult to describe because it’s very fresh, but it oscillates between humorous, serious, spooky; it’s playful. It’s not easily describable, but it’s very Quentin. Very, very, very Quentin. Of course Al Pacino was in it and you’ve got remarkable monologues, but you also have remarkable small set pieces. It’s going to be a tremendously unique film.”
The announced ensemble for Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood now also includes Timothy Olyphant, Scoot McNairy, Damian Lewis, Luke Perry, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden, Clifton Collins, Keith Jefferson, Emile Hirsch, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Danny Strong, Sydney Sweeney, Clu Gulager, James Landry Hébert, Mikey Madison, Al Pacino, Lena Dunham, Maya Hawke, and Nicholas Hammond, among others.