Quentin Tarantino's 9th movie, described by the director as being about the year 1969, will be financed and distributed by Sony. Tarantino shopped the movie around to various studios after cutting ties with longtime partners the Weinstein Company amid Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct scandal.
Tarantino is keeping details about his new project under tight wraps after the script for his last film, The Hateful Eight, was prematurely leaked, an incident that almost caused the director to abandon the film. Originally reported as being centered around the Manson Family murders, Tarantino has since clarified that the new movie is really about 1969. Insiders say the movie resembles Tarantino's Pulp Fiction in its ensemble of characters and Los Angeles setting, with Manson figuring as a background character.
After an intense bidding war, Deadline reports that Sony has won the rights to finance and distribute Tarantino's 9th film. All the major studios except Disney were reportedly involved in the bidding, along with Lionsgate and Annapurna as well as several unidentified individual financiers. The film's budget is expected to end up in the $100 million range, with David Heyman (Harry Potter) and Shannon McIntosh (The Hateful Eight) on-board as producers, and Georgia Kacandes (The Hateful Eight) as executive producer.
Though Tarantino's films tend to be divisive (some swear by them, some detest them), they also tend to attract huge stars and be highly profitable, two things that make the director attractive to major studios. The Hateful Eight was a decent success by his standards, grossing $155 million worldwide on a relatively modest $44 million budget, but before that he had two huge hits with Django Unchained ($425 million in worldwide gross against a reported budget of $100 million) and Inglourious Basterds ($321 million worldwide on a $70 million budget). Tarantino's films also garner lots of awards season buzz, another major selling-point with studios looking to add to their prestige.
Tarantino's ability to attract top acting talent to his projects now comes into play, and the director reportedly is looking at some very big names to populate his cast. From almost the beginning, it's been reported that Tarantino is seeking Margot Robbie to portray Manson Family murder victim Sharon Tate. Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Lawrence are also reportedly on Tarantino's wish-list of performers. Possibly the biggest, strangest name being mentioned for the film is Tom Cruise, who some think would make an interesting Charles Manson (some think Cruise's involvement in Scientology makes him uniquely qualified to play a cult leader who manipulated his followers into committing heinous crimes).
Tarantino's 9th film (the second-to-last of his career, if he sticks by his promise to retire from filmmaking after his 10th movie) is set to go into production in mid-2018 with an eye toward a 2019 release.