Archive footage from many films is included in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, including C.C. and Company, Lady in Cement, Three in the Attic, and The Wrecking Crew, in which Sharon Tate appears as Freya Carlson. Three scenes were digitally altered, replacing the original actors with Rick Dalton. One from an episode of The F.B.I., entitled "All the Streets Are Silent," in which Dalton appears as a character originally portrayed by Burt Reynolds. Another from Death on the Run, with Dalton's face imposed over Ty Hardin's. The third is from The Great Escape, with Dalton appearing as Virgil Hilts, the role made famous by Steve McQueen. For The 14 Fists of McCluskey, a WWII film within the film starring Dalton, footage and music from Hell River is used. Additionally, Martin Abrahams, Brioni Farrell, Victor Freitag, Nancy Kwan, Dean Martin, Hannes Messemer, Gordon Mitchell, Rod Taylor, Burt Ward, and Adam West appear via archive footage and sound.
Tarantino discovered the centerpiece for the work in 2009 while filming a movie with an actor that had the same stunt double for 20 years. Even though there was nothing but a small bit for the stuntman to do, Tarantino was asked to use him, and he agreed. The relationship fascinated Tarantino and inspired him to make a film about Hollywood. Tarantino said that while the stuntman may have been a perfect double for the actor years earlier, at the time he had come to meet them, "this was maybe the last or second-to-last thing they'd be doing together".More Info
On July 11, 2017, it was announced that Quentin Tarantino's next film would be about the Manson Family murders. Harvey and Bob Weinstein would be involved, but it was not known whether The Weinstein Company would distribute the film, as Tarantino sought to cast before sending out a package to studios. Tarantino approached Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence to star in the film. It was reported that Margot Robbie was being considered for Sharon Tate. Samuel L. Jackson was in talks for a major role, and Pitt was in talks for the detective investigating the murders.More Info
In January 2018, DiCaprio signed on, taking a pay cut to collaborate with Tarantino again. Al Pacino was being considered for a role. On February 28, 2018, the film was titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with Pitt cast in the role Cruise was also up for. DiCaprio and Pitt were each paid $10 million. In March 2018, Robbie, who had expressed interest in working with Tarantino, signed to co-star as Sharon Tate, while Zoë Bell confirmed she would appear. In April 2018, Jessica Lange was in talks to play Mary Alice Schwarzs, but dropped out and Brenda Vaccaro replaced her. In May 2018, Burt Reynolds, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Michael Madsen joined the cast. Timothy Olyphant was also cast. In June 2018, Damian Lewis, Luke Perry, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, Clifton Collins Jr., Keith Jefferson, Nicholas Hammond, Pacino, and Scoot McNairy joined the cast. Spencer Garrett, James Remar, Brenda Vaccaro, and Mike Moh were announced in July. In August 2018, Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, and Lena Dunham, Austin Butler, Danny Strong, Rafał Zawierucha, Rumer Willis, Dreama Walker, and Margaret Qualley were cast.More Info
The Hollywood Reporter said critics had "an overall positive view," with some calling it "Tarantino's love letter to '60s L.A.," praising its cast and setting, while others were "divided on its ending." ReelViews' James Berardinelli awarded the film 3.5 stars out of 4, saying it was "made by a movie-lover for movie-lovers. And even those who don't qualify may still enjoy the hell out of it." RogerEbert.com's Brian Tallerico gave it four out of four stars, calling it "layered and ambitious, the product of a confident filmmaker working with collaborators completely in tune with his vision". The Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper described it as "a brilliant and sometimes outrageously fantastic mash-up of real-life events and characters with pure fiction," giving it full marks. Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman called it a "heady engrossing collage of a film—but not, in the end, a masterpiece." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave it five out of five stars, praising Pitt and DiCaprio's performances and calling it "Tarantino's dazzling LA redemption song." Steve Pond of TheWrap said: "Big, brash, ridiculous, too long, and in the end invigorating, the film is a grand playground for its director to fetishize old pop culture and bring his gleeful perversity to the craft of moviemaking." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film 4.5 out of 5 stars, remarking that "All the actors, in roles large and small, bring their A games to the film. Two hours and 40 minutes can feel long for some. I wouldn't change a frame."More Info
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