With principal photography officially underway on Quentin Tarantino’s ninth full-length feature, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, how, exactly, the filmmaker will be tackling his latest piece of delicate subject matter is finally beginning to take shape.
Surely by now – amid the release date controversy and disapproval of Debra Tate – it should be common knowledge that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set against the backdrop of 1969 Los Angeles, specifically, “during the Helter Skelter reign of terror.” After all, Margot Robbie is portraying none other than Sharon Tate, the murdered, pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski.
What isn’t common knowledge, though, is that Bruce Lee was initially a suspect in the murder of Tate, which, of course, we now know was ultimately carried out by the Manson family. Nonetheless, as a happy result of his open marriage with historical accuracy – evident during the bombastic conclusion of Inglorious Basterds – Tarantino has cast Mike Moh to portray the kung fu legend in what’s sure to be an entertaining, if not technically fact-based, adaptation of the desert commune and cult.
For those of you who don’t know, Polanski was training with Lee in the summer of 69, who also assisted Tate on the 1968 movie The Wrecking Crew. During a session, Bruce told Polanski that he’d lost a pair of sunglasses. Now, having been told by police they’d discovered a pair of sunglasses at the Tate residence, and knowing that Lee could singlehandedly take down a house full of people, well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together.
Initially slated to arrive on August 9th, 2019 – coincidentally coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the infamous Manson Family murders – Sony’s opted to move Once Upon a time in Hollywood to July 26th, 2019. Regardless of when it’ll land, though, considering the high-end talent on board and Tarantino’s flair for storytelling, there’s no denying that we’re in for one helluva ride.