The cast for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood continues to grow. The film has added Dakota Fanning (Ocean’s ), Luke Perry (Riverdale), Damian Lewis (Billions), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild), Keith Jefferson (The Hateful Eight), Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld) and Nicholas Hammond (The Sound of Music), per Deadline.
Set in L.A. in 1969, the film centers around the Manson Family-led Tate murders. The Tate murders—often dubbed the death knell of the ‘60s—eliminated any lasting remnants of the peace-and-love sentiments that survived to the end of the decade after King and Kennedy’s assassinations, and the race riots that followed. Hollywood itself had begun to reflect the rebellious and violent counterculture via films like Easy Rider and Bonnie and Clyde instead of the historical epics and musicals that had safely defined the industry prior.
The Manson Family consisted of teenage runaways that fame-starved career-criminal-turned-guru Charles Manson collected in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco. Though they also committed other murders, the group famously broke into the home of director Roman Polanski and actress Sharon Tate. Polanski was in Europe, but Tate (who was eight months pregnant at the time) and her dinner party guests were all brutally stabbed to death.
Fanning has been cast as Squeaky Fromme, a Manson Family member who would later attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford, and Hirsch has signed on to play Jay Sebring, a hairstylist and friend of Tate’s who would be murdered at Tate’s home. Additionally, Hammond has been cast as director Sam Wanamaker and Lewis will play famed Western actor Steve McQueen, who at the last minute skipped the dinner party for a hookup. Rounding out the new cast members, Perry will play Scotty Lancer, with Collins as Ernesto the Mexican Vaquero and Jefferson as Land Pirate Keith.
These are additions to an already-star-saturated cast. Leonardo DiCaprio has been cast as Rick Dalton, a Western has-been who lives next door to Tate. He and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (played by Brad Pitt) struggle to recognize the Hollywood that’s changing around them. Both DiCaprio and and Pitt have worked with Tarantino before—in Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds, respectively—but negotiations over their salaries were reportedly tense, eventually leading to DiCaprio taking a 50 percent pay cut for his role. Read more about DiCaprio and Pitt’s casting here.
Tate herself will be played by Margot Robbie, alongside Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Madsen and Tim Roth. Their roles are not explicitly clear, but it is believed that, much like Pulp Fiction, the film will interweave multiple plot threads to create space for any number of ‘60s figures to appear. At this point, Russell, Roth and Madsen are all Tarantino veterans.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is scheduled to hit theaters on Aug. 9, 2019, fifty years to the day Tate and her friends were murdered. Stay tuned for further updates.