Quentin Tarantino's untitled 1969 movie is said to be in trouble at Sony due to a variety of factors - including the unsavory headlines recently generated by Uma Thurman's Kill Bill car crash. The Oscar-winning filmmaker has been in the process of putting together his ninth feature film, which was initially believed to be about the Charles Manson murders. It was later clarified the story is more of an exploration of Hollywood in the 1960s, with Manson serving as one element in the narrative. Tarantino is set to reunite with his Django Unchained star Leonardo DiCaprio and is eyeing other stars like Margot Robbie and Tom Cruise for other roles. Last year, Sony set an August 2019 release date for the project.
While all this has been going on, Tarantino was in the news for all the wrong reasons when video surfaced of Thurman's horrific car crash (which left her with permanent injuries) on the Kill Bill set. The director came under heavy criticism when Thurman said it was Tarantino who convinced her to film the scene even after she had expressed concerns about the vehicle's safety. She later elaborated by holding Kill Bill's producers responsible for a coverup while commending Tarantino for finding the footage of the accident. Still, the incident did not paint Tarantino in the most flattering of lights, and now he could be suffering consequences.
In a report from Showbiz 411, it's insinuated Tarantino's 1969 film is on thin ice with distributor Sony. Not only were the revelations about Thurman troubling, more red flags were raised when Tarantino's disgraceful defense of Roman Polanski (said to be a character in his new movie) resurfaced. Tarantino has since broken his silence on the Thurman situation and apologized to Polanski's victim, but it does seem plausible if Sony would rather not be associated with the director to avoid a PR fallout. Of course, this is simply a rumor for now and should be taken with a grain of salt.
The other interesting nugget in Showbiz 411's article is the budget for Tarantino's latest is in the range of $200 million, which would make 1969 his most expensive outing by far. If that is indeed the price tag, it wouldn't be surprising if Sony was having second thoughts. Based on the old rule of thumb, 1969 would have to earn $400 million worldwide just to break even, a feat only achieved in Tarantino's career by Django Unchained ($425.4 million). Tarantino is one of the few directors working today who can draw a crowd simply with his name, but he's never been one to break box office records. He may have to trim the budget or find a new financing source if 1969 is going to get off the ground.
Should Sony back out, it will be fascinating to see where Tarantino takes his new film. He previously released his films through the Weinstein Company, but that collaboration ended in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal last fall. If the budget is truly a concern, perhaps Netflix could be a likely option. Martin Scorsese's expensive gangster picture, The Irishman, was previously set up at Paramount, but the studio passed due to the cost of digitally de-aging stars Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Money seems to be no object to the streaming giant, so conceivably they could pick up 1969 if it falls through at Sony.
Source: Showbiz 411
- Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019) release date: Jul 26, 2019
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