Quentin Tarantino’s search for a new production and distribution home is nearing an end. Variety reports Sony, Paramount, and Warner Bros. have emerged as the final three contenders to win the rights to Tarantino’s highly anticipated ninth feature, which will be set in 1969 and have something to do with the Manson family murders.
Tarantino has finished the script and was looking to find a distributor before Thanksgiving, as Deadline reported at the start of the month, and it looks like he’s sticking to that plan. Miramax or The Weinstein Company previously released all of the director’s movies, but Tarantino will not be working with TWC following sexual assault and harassment allegations made against co-founder Harvey Weinstein.
According to Variety, the studios are pulling out all the stops in order to win Tarantino’s approval. Warner Bros. reportedly lined up the front of their Burbank studio with cars from the late 1960s and used their 1969 logo on the marquee outside of the studio for when Tarantino arrived to meet with executives. They also retrofitted the conference room with vintage furniture from the era Tarantino’s movie is set and created mock posters for the film.
Sony’s studio chief Tom Rothman, meanwhile, put together a multimedia presentation explaining in detail how Sony would handle the release of the movie. Rothman was joined by the studio’s senior staff.
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The three studios emerged as the finalists for distribution because Tarantino is asking for a $100 million budget, which puts his new film on par with what it cost to make “Django Unchained.” Sources tell Variety the studio’s executives had to travel to the WME offices in order to read the script in private. In order to lock in a second meeting with Tarantino in person, the executives had to sign off on terms agreeing to the $100 million budget and other terms, including Tarantino getting final cut privilege and first-dollar gross (he’ll receive a cut of the pre-tax revenue the movie makes).
Plot specifics and casting details for the movie have not been confirmed yet. Rumor has it Tarantino has written roles for Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie. The studio to win production and distribution rights should emerge sometime in the next week.