Sony Pictures has moved Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” to July 26, 2019 — possibly avoiding controversy over releasing the movie on the 50th anniversary of murders by Charles Manson’s followers.
The studio had originally announced that it would release “Once Upon a Time” two weeks later on Aug. 9, 2019. That will be the 50th anniversary of the murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others at a house on Cielo Drive in the Hollywood Hills.
Sony announced the date switch on Wednesday but gave no reason for doing so. The movie is set against the backdrop of the murders with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Rick Dalton, former star of a western TV series, while Brad Pitt will play his longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth.
The cast also includes Margot Robbie, Timothy Olyphant, Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Emile Hirsch, Clifton Collins Jr., Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Keith Jefferson, and Nicholas Hammond.
At Sony Pictures’ CinemaCon presentation in April, Tarantino said DiCaprio and Pitt would be “the most exciting dynamic star duo since Paul Newman and Robert Redford.”
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“It takes place at the height of the counterculture explosion,” said Tarantino. “It takes place at the time of the hippie revolution, and it takes place at the height of new Hollywood.”
He added that the film will be the most similar in style and plotting to his 1994 masterwork, “Pulp Fiction.”
Sony made the announcement as part of disclosing release dates for its recently announced “Zombieland 2” on Oct. 11, 2019; “Little Women” on Dec. 25, 2019; and Vin Diesel’s “Bloodshot” on Feb. 21, 2020. The studio also moved forward the release of “Slender Man” from Aug. 24 to Aug. 10 and moved back “Searching” from Aug. 3 to Aug. 24.
Sony announced on July 13 that it had reunited the cast of “Zombieland” with Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin signing on to reprise their roles in the sequel.
Variety reported on June 29 that Greta Gerwig was eyeing “Little Women” as her next directing gig with Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet attached to star.