EXCLUSIVE: After making every movie in his directing career for Miramax and The Weinstein Company, Quentin Tarantino has made the hard decision to look for a new home for his upcoming film. The pic is being referred to as #9 because it is the ninth picture in his directing oeuvre, and it is being read this week by all of the major studios except Disney.
Tarantino planned to make this film — a drama set in late ’60s-early ’70s Los Angeles — with TWC, but those plans imploded with the scandalous removal of Harvey Weinstein after the revelation of a litany of nightmarish stories about forced sexual encounters with dozens of actresses and women who worked for the company. So The House That Quentin Built — as Weinstein often called his company because of the out-sized success of Tarantino-directed pictures that included Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained — is in the process of being sold off, and despite Tarantino’s loyalty to the 170 or so staff there that helped make his movies successful, he has officially left the building.
The aspirants for Tarantino’s next film are limited to the major studios, because Tarantino and his WME reps wanted to make one deal with a studio that has the ability to release the picture globally. There has been a lot of press that the script focuses on Charles Manson and the murder spree he orchestrated, but I’m told that is akin to calling Inglourious Basterds a movie about Adolf Hitler, when the Nazi leader was only in a scene or two. Deadline reported months ago that Margot Robbie had been asked to play Manson murder victim Sharon Tate, and Tarantino has roles for — and has had conversations with — the likes of Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson, who’ve all starred in his movies before. But no casting commitments have been made so far.
The first order of business is to secure the studio that will finance, market and distribute a movie that will begin production in mid-2018 for a 2019 release. All of the majors are in except for Disney, which doesn’t make the R-rated milieu that Tarantino has always worked in. I’m told that the script has strong commercial appeal, and if there is a film of Tarantino’s it can be best compared to, it would be Pulp Fiction, which also was set in Los Angeles about a decade after this one. The film will carry a budget in the range of Django Unchained, and it is expected that the hard conversations will begin early next week, with a deal culminating within the next two weeks.