Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film has another name in casting contention: Tom Cruise

A new Quentin Tarantino movie is always much-hyped affair, but his mysterious new film is shaping up to be one of the most interesting projects of his career. The filmmaker has famously worked with Harvey Weinstein‘s production companies (be it Miramax or The Weinstein Co.) ever since Weinstein’s Miramax snatched up RESERVOIR DOGS at the Sundance Film Festival, but in the wake of the outpouring of allegations against the Hollywood mega-producer and the subsequent financial turmoil of his company, Tarantino has been shopping around his script to every major studio in town. That makes his untitled ninth film a true rarity in his resume, and that might just translate into the film itself now that Tarantino will be operating under a new studio.

Which studio that will be, remains up in the air at this point, but a new report from Variety reveals that Warner Bros., Sony, and Paramount have emerged as the fiercest bidders. Every major buyer in town is reportedly in the game save Disney, but with Fox taking a less aggressive swing at the project, the three finalists have emerged after a competitive round of wooing. So yeah, maybe this won’t be too much of a shakeup at all for Tarantino considering these folks sound primed to give the filmmaker just about anything he wants.

As usual, Tarantino is eyeing the tippy-top of the A-List for his cast with some familiar faces and newcomers in the mix. As previously reported, Tarantino wants Margot Robbie for the role of Sharon Tate, and he is said to have written roles for Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Now, Deadline reports that we can add Tom Cruise to the short list of talent Tarantino spoken with for one of the two lead male roles, though they also note that there’s no telling if all three actors are intended to appear in the film since it all comes down to scheduling and closing the deals. Additionally, Deadline reports that HARRY POTTER and GRAVITY producer David Heyman has boarded the project as the main producer. It will be his first project with Tarantino.

The new film is set to take place in the late 1960s, early 1970s and will tie in with the Manson murders, though not as directly as initial reports indicated. Per Variety, Warner Bros. transformed their lot to match the period in order to catch the filmmaker’s eye. “When Tarantino arrived at the studio’s Burbank lot, he found the circular entrance in front of the administration building adorned with cars from the late 1960s. The Warner Bros. logo circa 1969 was on the marquee outside the studio, and the executive conference room was outfitted with vintage furniture from the era and mock posters for the movie.” Sony also reportedly cooked up a grand pitch focused on marketing and domestic.

As we previously reported, Tarantino required the studios to head over to the WME offices, where they could get a crack at the script, and in order to line up a second meeting with the director, the studios had to agree to quite a few terms. First, big money. Tarantino wants a production budget near $100 million. He is also expecting final cut on the film and first-dollar gross, meaning he will get a cut studio’s revenue before taxes. Those big demands are said to have knocked out many of the suitors, leaving behind Warner Bros., Sony, and Paramount to duke it out, barring any dark horse bidders.

The film is expected to be rated-R and get in front of cameras by mid-2018 ahead of a 2019 theatrical release.


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