The question remains as to exactly what kind of film Quentin Tarantino is making with the upcoming "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood." The film will either be a) an absurdist revisionist genre film like 'Inglourious' and 'Django', or it'll be b) A film grounded in the dark, realist violence of "Reservoir Dogs," "Jackie Brown" and "Pulp Fiction." Something tells me it's the latter. QT has even mentioned that 'Once Upon A Time’ is “probably the closest to ‘Pulp Fiction’ that I have done.”
Ever since 1997's "Jackie Brown," Tarantino has purposely made sure not to replicate the stylistic and narrative aspects of his first three films, not to mention the more serious tone, and go for a more fantasy-inspired route. "Kill Bill" was inspired by cartoon-like Japanese grindhouse cinema, "Inglourious Basterds," was a war movie that completely revised Hitler and the Nazi's fate, "Django Unchained" made up its own kind of slave rebellion historical rewrite and "The Hateful Eight" felt like a violent version of an Agatha Christie novel.
The fact that QT is saying that he's decided to embrace and revisit 'Pulp' is a cause for excitement and an acknowledgement that we are probably getting a more serious movie.
Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson, who has been collaborating with Tarantino ever since “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” discussed QT's latest film, which he is currently shooting in Hollywood, with Collider's Adam Chitwod. Richardson had explained in the interview from last year that the “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” shoot is still going on (its been 89 days so far), and also name-checks Dakota Fanning's performance as a “powerhouse."
But then Richardson discussed the tone of ‘Once Upon a Time’,which is what we are most curious about here at WOR: “I think the tone of it is—it’s difficult to describe because it’s very fresh, but it oscillates between humorous, serious, spooky; it’s playful. It’s not easily describable, but it’s very Quentin. Very, very, very Quentin. Of course, Al Pacino was in it and you’ve got remarkable monologues, but you also have remarkable small set pieces. It’s going to be a tremendously unique film,” he revealed.
As for whether Richardson is going the 70mm route a la “The Hateful Eight," that will not be happening due to budgetary and time-restrictive concerns:
Richardson explained, “We’re doing anamorphic 35, but we didn’t trespass into the 70mm realm for financial reasons, principally. The budget is—there are a hundred sets or something so they needed to cut back somewhere, and the added cost of 70mm is quite remarkable and it also has tremendous limitations like no zooms, and Quentin wanted zooms in the film so it required us to go to 35 anamorphic.”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” will be released on July 26, 2019.