After parting ways with longtime backer Harvey Weinstein, Quentin Tarantino is making studio executives go through a complicated process to bid for his new film about Charles Manson — including trekking to his agents’ offices just to read the script, two insiders told TheWrap.
Tarantino’s reps at William Morris Endeavor are shopping his upcoming ninth feature about the Manson murders to companies like Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and Paramount, the insiders said. They said that after the executives schlep to WME’s Beverly Hills offices to see the script, the agents present deal points to allow the studios to bid for the theatrical rights.
After bids are in, a second round of discussions will be set where the studios can pitch Tarantino directly, the individuals said. The film will explore the tragedy and cultural phenomenon of Manson, his followers and the famous victims of their cult violence, TheWrap previously reported.
Tarantino’s desire for secrecy may stem, in part, from his fury at an early script for 2015’s “The Hateful Eight” leaking. The director felt so betrayed that he almost abandoned the project. Reps for Tarantino did not respond to requests for comment, nor did the major studios.
An unnamed fledgling company made an “aggressive” offer to take the film off the table, script unseen, according to one of the individuals.
Streaming giants Netflix and Amazon are not currently known to be in the race. It’s not surprising that Tarantino would favor a studio release, given his borderline fetish for traditional movie making.
For “The Hateful Eight,” the director tracked down the same camera lenses used on the 1959 Charlton Heston classic “Ben-Hur” and shot with them. That same film was released in 70mm, which saw former Weinstein Company distribution chief Erik Lomis rent an airplane hangar and restore old projectors for nearly a year simply to satisfy Tarantino’s wishes.
Tarantino’s laborious process this time around was sparked by the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein, who stands accused of rape, sexual harassment and general misconduct with dozens and dozens of women. He has denied any non-consensual sex occurred.
Weinstein has released or partnered in all of the director’s eight films (he counts both volumes of “Kill Bill” as one film, though Weinstein released them as two films).
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino recently told the New York Times of Weinstein’s behavior. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
Tarantino said he wished “I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
The Manson project has some juicy roles. Celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and her boyfriend Wojciech Frykowski are other central to the crime. The infamous incident occurred at the home of Tate’s husband Roman Polanski, nestled in Los Angeles’ Benedict Canyon on Cielo Drive, in 1969.