Quentin Tarantino was so keen to keep the ending of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood from prying eyes that he kept it locked in a safe.
The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, rewrites the gruesome murder of Sharon Tate and her friends in 1969, with director Tarantino saving Tate and having the Manson Family perpetrators killed instead.
And the Oscar winner’s longtime first assistant director William Paul Clark told Filmmaker Magazine that there was so much secrecy over the ending that the final act of the movie was locked away.
“We kept the third act in a safe in the accounting department. You come, you get the script, you go into the little room, you go read the third act,” Clark explained. “When you’re done, you give the script back, they put it back in the safe and you leave. You take some notes. If you need to refer to something again, you go back.”
He also revealed that the safe was taken with the crew when on location.
“When we got out on location, we just brought a safe and you go to the producer’s trailer if you need to read it. The hardest part was getting over the fear of not having the material at your fingertips all the time. Once people got over that fear, it wasn’t an issue,” Clark added.
And Once Upon a Time in Hollywood isn’t the first movie ending that Tarantino has kept under wraps.
In 2009’s Inglourious Basterds, the director reworked the ending over the Christmas holidays and gave the handwritten script to his cast and crew.
“It was basically an outline with little snippets of dialogue. He wrote this out by hand and handed me a stack of yellow ruled paper,” Clark shared.
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