Dwayne Johnson in “JUMANJI”
At last it’s been confirmed, and we can tell you what Quentin Tarantino has planned for Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio and three-time Oscar-nominee Brad Pitt in his film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” The story is about former Western series cowboy Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his best friend and longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt), set in 1969, with the Manson family murders as the backdrop for the story.
As a reporter covering the Hollywood scene when the Manson clan murdered actress Sharon Tate and her friends on Cielo Drive, I remember discos, clubs and restaurants shuttered because celebrities were crippled with fear. In fact, none of them left their homes for weeks until they found out who was behind it all. I chatted with Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring at The Factory the night before the murders and was visited the next week by the FBI, who wanted to know what we talked about.
Tarantino is pulling out all the stops to make this a big film about Hollywood. He’s also cast Margot Robbie, Timothy Olyphant, Luke Perry, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Emile Hirsch, Tim Roth and Nicholas Hammond, (original TV series “Spider-Man”). “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” opens Aug. 19, 2019.
*** Hollywood is so fickle. Dwayne Johnson rode “Jumanji, Welcome to the Jungle” to just short of $1 billion at the box office and “Rampage” to $426 million, but because his latest release, “Skyscraper,” came in third its first week, behind the animated “Hotel Transylvania 3” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” with a mere $71.6 million ( more than half its cost), they think he’s off his game. When the kids are done watching their cartoons and superheroes, the rest of us will be thrilled by “The Rock” climbing his skyscraper. He’s not worried though; he’s already moved on to filming “Jungle Cruise” with Emily Blunt, Paul Giamatti and Jack Whitehall for an October 2019 release.
Harrison Ford must have been disappointed when “Indiana Jones 5” was put off for two years, but he got over it quick by signing to drive a dog sled in the remake of Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild,” which was most memorably made with Oscar-winners Clark Gable (1935) and Charlton Heston (1972). Maybe playing a wilderness prospector in the Yukon will finally earn Harrison Ford an Oscar, as it did for Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant” (2015).
Even though Clint Eastwood didn’t get to direct Bradley Cooper in “A Star Is Born” (which Cooper directed and starred in himself), he’ll direct Cooper in the crime drama “The Mule,” with Laurence Fishburne and Dianne Wiest. Hopefully Bradley isn’t playing the title role!