Leonardo DiCaprio is hitching a ride to the past with Quentin Tarantino. According to Variety, the actor is in talks to star in the director’s upcoming Charles Manson project. It’ll be a reunion for the duo, who last worked together on the 2012 Western Django Unchained.
But before you get your hopes up, know this: DiCaprio shan’t be taking on the role of wild-eyed Manson himself. He’s instead rumored to play the role of an aging, out-of-work actor. Plot twist!
Thus far, the rest of the cast is still up in the air, though Margot Robbie has long been rumored to play the role of Sharon Tate, the actress who was murdered by members of Manson’s cult. Tom Cruise is also reportedly in talks to join the cast in a mysterious, not-yet-public role. Tarantino is said to be courting Al Pacino as well. The film, Tarantino’s ninth feature, has already been set for an August 9, 2019, release date, timed to the 50th anniversary of the Manson murders.
As Tarantino has previously revealed, the film is less straightforward Manson biopic than it is a broad story about California in 1969, with the Manson murders serving as a backdrop for the overall story. DiCaprio’s role will likely be vital to the film, important and interesting enough to, say, mount an awards-season campaign around. Because if there’s one thing DiCaprio loves, it’s an Oscar campaign—perhaps especially now that he can relax and luxuriate in the competition, since he’s finally got a statuette to call his own.
Though we might not be in for the same level of crazy story we got during his press circuit for The Revenant—he ate raw bison liver! He slept in an animal carcass! He was tortured by Tom Hardy!—the atmosphere of a Tarantino film should make for some pretty juicy behind-the-scenes stories. Remember the time on Django where DiCaprio actually cut his hand during a scene and just kept going? The moment probably still haunts Kerry Washington, though she has long been a cosmically good sport about DiCaprio going rogue and smearing his actual blood on her actual face. Or maybe, considering he doesn’t actually get to play the villain in this particular movie, DiCaprio should be the one on the lookout for method acting-induced madness this time around.
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:The Must-See Looks at the 2018 Critics’ Choice AwardsYohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.