Dwayne John­son in “JU­MANJI”

Riverbank News - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Tony Rizzo

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!

Photo credit: Sony

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