Particularly in the current #MeToo and #TimesUp climate, the name Roman Polanski sets off alarms. The cultural and legal conversation around the filmmaker and his past sexual assault is ongoing, but the question now becomes: are audiences ready to see the director as a character in a Quentin Tarantino film?
According to Variety’s Justin Kroll, Polanski — as a character — will have a “key role” in Tarantino’s not-actually-a-Charles-Manson-movie project. Here’s the intel:
Some QT-Manson updates: The role Pitt and Cruise have met on is for that of a stuntman not prosecutor, the Leo character is also Tate's neighbor in the pic and Polanski will play key role in film, QT going discovery route wants authentic polish thesp
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 1, 2018
To recap, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star in the movie which is set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, and centers on a washed up TV actor who’s had one hit series and is looking for a way to get into the film business through the burgeoning spaghetti western industry in Italy. His sidekick — who’s also his stunt double (the part that Pitt and Cruise are apparently in contention for) — is looking for the same thing. Meanwhile, the horrific murder of Sharon Tate and four of her friends by Charles Manson’s cult of followers shadows the main narrative. DiCaprio is playing that washed up actor, with Margot Robbie expected to sign up as Sharon Tate, with Al Pacino also eyed for role.
For a movie that’s not really about Manson, the setting and characters certainly brush up against the tragedy that befell Tate, and the horror Polanski faced pretty directly. Tate was murdered in August of 1969, one of the many, infamous unofficial endings to that freewheeling decade.
Certainly, Tarantino’s next movie keeps getting more curious by the day, and it’ll be interesting to see who he uncovers to play Polanski. There’s also been no word yet on how Polanski feels about having this very personal, yet historical, incident dramatized by Tarantino.
Tarantino’s next film opens on August 9, 2019.