Quentin Tarantino has sworn he’s retiring after he makes two more movies. We’re calling his bluff (hey, we were right about Steven Soderbergh), but if he is serious, at least he’s trying to go out with a bang. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the filmmaker is putting together the pieces on a film about Charles Manson. He’s even been reoprtedly chatting with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence about key roles, while Deadline has those mythological creatures known as “sources” claiming Margot Robbie may be the one Tarantino’s asking to play one of the seven victims, Sharon Tate.
How Tarantino is going to attack this story is still up for speculation, though the speculation machine has speculated that it will revolve around Tate, the model and actress whose Hollywood Hills manse was raided by the Manson Family while her husband, Roman Polanski, was in Europe in August of 1969.
If Tate is Tarantino’s protagonist, that would be a big departure for him. Usually the victims in his films fight back against their oppressors and win: Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill”; the Jewish-American soldiers in “Inglourious Basterds”; Jamie Foxx in “Django Unchained.” Tate, along with six others, of course did not survive the massacre — and we highly doubt Tarantino would be tasteless enough to have a “Basterds”-style re-writing of history in which the bad guy isn’t triumphant. Then again, nobody wins in “The Hateful Eight,” a real pessimistic piece of work, which this very well could be as well.
Whatever Tarantino’s planning, we trust him. He’s one of our most misunderstood filmmakers, enormously popular sometimes for the wrong reasons. He’s sneaky and his films are dense and tricky to unpack, never only about the pleasurable (or unpleasant) business on the surface.
You also have who knows how long it takes for him to actually make his so-far-untitled allegedly penultimate opus, which means there’s plenty of time to become a Charles Manson expert. We highly recommend the season of “You Must Remember This,” Karina Longworth’s podcast about Classic Hollywood (and beyond), that focused exclusively on the Manson murders and his many connections to Tinsel Town in the ’60s. It will break your heart.