Two days ago Vanity Fair‘s Rebecca Keegan reported two interesting tidbits about Quentin Tarantino‘s 1969 “not Manson” film, which will be produced and distributed by Sony Pictures.
First, a thumbnail synopsis according to somebody who’s read the script: “Set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, Tarantino’s upcoming movie…focuses on a male TV actor who’s had one hit series and his looking for a way to get into the film business. His sidekick — who’s also his stunt double — is looking for the same thing. The horrific murder of Sharon Tate and four of her friends by Charles Manson’s cult of followers serves as a backdrop to the main story.”
Second, a rumor that Tarantino wants Sony to give him “a production budget of close to $100 million, first-dollar gross and final cut on the film…it’s not yet clear if Sony has agreed to all these terms.”
If I was in Rothman’s shoes, I would tell Tarantino to take his “close to $100 million” budget demand and shoveituphisass.
I would say that as much as I like the idea of Quentin Tarantino time-tripping back to the late ’60s, the truth is that I stopped really liking his scripts 20 years ago. I would tell him that whatever kind of golden touch he had during the making of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown left him a long time ago, and that he’s been more or less coasting on the fumes of those films all through the aughts. And I’d tell him I hated The Hateful Eight.
I’d tell Tarantino that I’ll go $50 or $60 million, tops, and that a profit participation deal needs to be agreed to. No humungous upfront checks for anyone — just decent-sized ones. If anybody wants a super payday, they’re going to have to risk it along with me. If the ’60s film is a big hit, we’ll all profit handsomely. If it’s not a big success, which is what I suspect will happen, then I won’t take such a big bath.
Tarantino will reportedly begin shooting “not Manson” in June. All Los Angeles locations.
Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, ages 55, 53 and 43 respectively, are being considered for the role of the TV actor who’s trying to break into films. Question for HE readers: If you were looking to cast the role of a TV actor looking to break into films, which would almost certainly be someone in his late 20s or 30s, would you cast a 55 year-old like Cruise or a 53 year-old like Pitt?