Tarantino pays homage to himself in new trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

"In this town, it can all change like that," DiCaprio's character says as the trailer turns its gaze to the Manson family.
(YouTube/Sony Picture)

As Quentin Tarantino's ninth film Once Upon a Time In Hollywood premieres at the Cannes film festival today, a new trailer was also released online.

In it, we see more of Leonardo DiCaprio as actor Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his stunt double Cliff Booth, but also Al Pacino's character of Hollywood agent Marvin Schwarzs and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate.

Longtime fans of Tarantino will also notice a few homages to past films, the most visible being a shootout with Nazi soldiers (Inglourious Basterds), a tense table scene between cowboys (The Hateful Eight) as well as some famous dance moves once used by John Travolta (Pulp Fiction). A closer look will also reveal some recurring motifs, (Tarantino's obsession with bare feet is well represented) and Kurt Russell appears in a role very similar looking to his turn as Stuntman Mike, from Tarantino's 2007 film Death Proof.  

It's 1969, and we see Dalton struggle as he tries to go from being a TV cowboy to Hollywood actor. While the first half of the trailer focuses on this, all shot with a sun-drenched, nostalgic touch, we're also introduced to what will surely be the dark underbelly of the film.

"In this town, it can all change like that," Dalton says in the voiceover, shortly after we meet Charles Manson, played by Damon Herriman, and members of his cult. The film will focus on a specific dark period in Hollywood, one that occurred at both the "height of counterculture," as Tarantino told French reporters on the red carpet at Cannes, but also one marked by extreme violence that closed the chapter on the ideals of the Hippie era.

As it has been reported, the murder of Sharon Tate, then eight-and-a-half months pregnant, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger by the Manson family in the canyons outside of Beverly Hills in the summer of '69 — dubbed the Tate Murders — will be one focal point of the film.

Both the characters of Dalton and Booth find themselves wrapped up with the murders in more ways than one, both living beside the house rented by Tate and her then-partner Roman Polanski, and directly with the inhabitants on the ranch where Manson and his followers stayed.

"The characters are trapped on the outside and it all changed," said Tarantino. "And they didn't see it coming."

How much of the focus is on the murders can't be said, and Tarantino has specifically asked attendees at Cannes to refrain from posting any spoilers online.

"The cast and crew have worked so hard to create something original," he wrote. "And I only ask that everyone avoids revealing anything that would prevent later audiences from experiencing the film in the same way."



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