With his longtime executive producer, Harvey Weinstein, out of the picture and Weinstein’s independent studio flirting with bankruptcy, Quentin Tarantino is looking for a home for his movies for the first time since his first, Reservoir Dogs, in the early 1990s.
Hollywood studios are eager to have him on their arms.
As one of the last true auteur filmmakers in Hollywood, Tarantino’s movies are among the rare non-superhero films that audiences will come out to cinemas for. Tarantino’s next as-of-yet-untitled movie, about the real-life 1960s Charles Manson cult killings in California, could be a big draw.
Warner Bros. is one of three movie studios vying for the rights to the Manson Family project after reading Tarantino’s script, Variety reported. In a scene that sounds straight out of HBO’s Entourage, Warner Bros. actually transported part of its Burbank lot back to the late 1960s, complete with classic cars and vintage furniture, to woo him.
The company knows how to court an auteur. It distributed many of Christopher Nolan’s works, including Inception, Insomnia, The Dark Knight trilogy, and Dunkirk, which had a 70mm release even larger than that for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which was released by The Weinstein Company.
Sony and Paramount are in the running, too. Sony’s Columbia Pictures co-produced Tarantino’s Oscar-winning Django Unchained and the studio’s distribution arm handled much of the international release, which was Tarantino’s highest-grossing movie overseas. Sony is reportedly playing up ways it could help the movie succeed domestically and abroad sway Tarantino.
Bagging the filmmaker would also be a big win for Paramount. The once iconic studio behind films like Titanic and The Godfather has had a rough run of it lately and is desperate to rekindle to its former glory. Tarantino could be the centerpiece of that turnaround.
Other Hollywood studios reportedly balked at director’s demands for the movie: a $100 million budget, a slice of the pre-tax revenue taken in by the studio, and final cut on the film. As always, Tarantino has a star-studded roster to boot, with Margot Robbie playing actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the cult, known as the Manson Family, in 1969. Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Pitt, and others are in undisclosed roles, too.
The stalwart of filmmaking is unlikely to defect to a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon, as Martin Scorsese and David Fincher have. A diehard cinephile, Tarantino still shoots on actual film, watches movies on VHS and DVD, and does not have Netflix.