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‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Teaser Poster Lacks the Impact of Previous Tarantino One-Sheets

Sony has kicked off the marketing for Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature on a rather puzzling note.

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Sony

The marketing for Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has officially begun with Sony’s release of the official teaser poster, but this first marketing push isn’t exactly a home run. Featuring some questionable photoshopping of stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio against the backdrop of the Hollywood hills and the famous Hollywood sign, the image looks more like a poster for a bootleg DVD of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” than a poster for the official theatrical release. Nothing about the poster evokes the film’s 1969 setting, although highlighting Pitt and DiCaprio is obviously not a bad idea.

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” stars DiCaprio and Pitt as a television actor and his trusted stunt double who are trying to break out of TV and into the world of Hollywood moviemaking. The characters live next door to Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and Roman Polanski (Rafał Zawierucha), which means at some point their plan to break into the movie business will clash with Tate’s murder at the hands of the Manson family cult. Damon Herriman is starring as the notorious serial killer. The cast also includes Bruce Dern, Damian Lewis, Al Pacino, Emilie Hirsh, Lena Dunham, Dakota Fanning, and many more.

What’s ultimately most disappointing about the first poster for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is how unimaginatively it teases the film. Just look at the teaser posters for “The Hateful Eight” and “Django Unchained” as examples of Tarantino films being introduced in stylish and compelling fashion. The teaser posters for those films went with a more minimalist approach, opting not to show any star power (that’s right, no Jamie Foxx on the “Django” teaser) but to create a striking visual that teased each film’s mood. The horse drawn carriage leaving a trail of blood was especially perfect for teasing “The Hateful Eight.” The “Django” poster, meanwhile, popped with its blood-red sky and an overall Blaxploitation-meets-a-graphic-novel aesthetic.

Sony will release “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” in theaters nationwide July 26. Compare and contrast Tarantino’s recent teaser posters below.

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Sony

"The Hateful Eight"

“The Hateful Eight”

The Weinstein Company

"Django Unchained"

“Django Unchained”

The Weinstein Company

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