Quentin Tarantino's penultimate directorial feature film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has just cast its young Roman Polanski. The film will take place in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, the year in which Polanski's late wife Sharon Tate was attacked and killed by members of Charles Manson's cult.
While the Manson murders will be a pivotal moment that take place during the events of the movie, the bulk of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will revolve around a former Western TV series actor named Rick Dalton (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) struggling to reestablish himself in a modern Hollywood landscape alongside his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (played by Brad Pitt). The movie stars a massive ensemble, including Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden, Emile Hirsch, Clifton Collins Jr., Tim Roth, Burt Reynolds, and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate. Now, one of the most pivotal roles connected to the Manson/Tate murders has officially been cast: Academy Award-winning director Roman Polanski, circa 1969.
THR revealed that Polish actor Rafal Zawierucha has been cast as a young Roman Polanski. His filmography is mostly made up of Polish-speaking roles, though he did appear opposite David Tennant in the BBC miniseries Spies of Warsaw as a Polish soldier. It's unclear how significant his role will be in the movie, considering that Polanski was in Europe filming a movie when Tate and her friends were killed.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be featuring a handful of actors playing real-life individuals connected to the Manson/Tate murders, including Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate herself, Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring, who not only dated Tate before she left him for Polanski, but remained close friends with both of them up until the point of his death, and Dakota Fanning as one of Manson's devout followers, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who was not present during the murders. Two other actors have also been recently cast in the movie, including Danny Strong (Billions) and Sydney Sweeney (The Handmaid's Tale), though their roles - much like a considerable amount of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's cast - have yet to be revealed.
Quentin Tarantino has explicitly stated that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood involves the Manson/Tate murders, but is not centered around them directly. That said, DiCaprio's character lives next door from Tate, so it's clear that the movie's main characters will be directly affected by the incident in some way or another - possibly even woven into the aftermath, which could potentially bring them face-to-face with Polanski himself.
- Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019) release date: Jul 26, 2019