When we first caught wind of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the release date caught our eye. Normally, we don’t pay those much mind, but this one was different. You see, the star-studded blockbuster was slated to come out on August 9—the 50th anniversary of the murders of Sharon Tate and four others that were perpetrated by the Manson Family.
This was an especially interesting choice for Tarantino, as he was adamant that the movie wasn’t just about the Manson Family. As he put it in during an event celebrating fellow director Sofia Coppola in 2017, “It’s not Charles Manson, it’s 1969.”
In an effort to minimize the Manson tie-in, Tarantino released a statement in February 2018 calling Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor…Sharon Tate.”
Seeing as the Manson Family is portrayed more tangentially in the film than other characters, Tarantino and Sony’s decision to move the film release date up by two weeks makes sense. So, instead of coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Manson murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will now hit theaters on the less morose Friday, July 26.
Neither Tarantino nor Sony has shared any insight into why the decision was made, but it was likely out of sensitivity for the family and friends of victims Tate, her unborn baby, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent.
Either way, you know where we’ll be come July 26.
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