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Sharon Tate’s Sister Met With Quentin Tarantino, Is Now More Comfortable with ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Debra Tate says her family tragedy has long been exploited for the sake of entertainment.

Debra Tate Quentin Tarantino

Debra Tate and Quentin Tarantino

AP/Shutterstock, Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Author Debra Tate, the sister of late actress and model Sharon Tate, was initially against Quentin Tarantino incorporating Sharon’s murder into “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” TMZ reports that Tarantino arranged a meeting with Debra Tate to discuss her reservations, and she is now feeling better about the project. Part of her newfound optimism is the result of Sony’s decision last week to move up the release date so the film no longer hits theaters on the crime’s 50th’s anniversary.

“This movie is not what people would expect it to be when you combine the Tarantino and Manson names,” Debra Tate told the website. Four years ago, she published “Sharon Tate: Recollection” in her sister’s memory. The forward was written by Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, who was married to Sharon Tate when — in August 1969 — she and four others were killed in their home by followers of Charles Manson. At the time, Sharon Tate was two weeks away from delivering a son.

Debra Tate called Sony’s original release date “tacky and exploitative,” and said she will sit down with Tarantino again to read his script. Shooting is underway on the feature, which stars more than a dozen household names. Leonardo DiCaprio plays TV actor Rick Dalton, the next door neighbor of Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate.

IndieWire has reached out to Tarantino’s rep for comment.

Speaking to Deadline in March, Debra Tate blamed the the press and entertainment industry for “perpetuat[ing] mistruths” about true crimes, “making things even more salacious” than the actual events that occurred. She continued, “To celebrate the killers and the darkest portion of society as being sexy or acceptable in any way, shape or form is just perpetuating the worst of our society. I am vehemently opposed to anything that does that. I’ve been dealing with this for 50 years now.”

An exception, she believes, is “Tate,” a competing project staring Kate Bosworth and directed by her husband, Michael Polish. Bosworth, Polish, and Debra Tate will all serve as producers. Hilary Duff will also portray the slain actress in this year’s “The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” a film from writer-director Daniel Farrands.

Sony brings “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” to theaters on July 26, 2019.

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