By Joey Nolfi
May 02, 2019 at 08:51 AM EDT
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  • Movie
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The first chapter in Quentin Tarantino’s latest release will be written at the Cannes Film Festival.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — the filmmaker’s highly anticipated next directorial feature — is set to world-premiere as part of Cannes’ 2019 competition lineup, the annual festival announced Thursday.

Upon announcing the initial slate of films competing for Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or prize last month, festival director Thierry Frémaux confirmed during an April 18 press conference that the film was “not ready” for a public screening due to a lengthy post-production process.

“But, Quentin Tarantino, who has not left the editing room in four months, is a real, loyal and punctual child of Cannes! Like for Inglourious Basterds, he’ll definitely be there — 25 years after the Palme d’or for Pulp Fiction,” Fremaux said via press statement of the 165-minute film’s addition, describing the 1960s-set story — which will be presented in 35mm — as a “love letter to the Hollywood of his childhood” as well as a “rock music tour” of 1969 America.

The film follows DiCaprio’s fading television star, Rick Dalton, and Brad Pitt as his stunt double, Cliff Booth, as they navigate the struggles of a rapidly changing entertainment industry — all while the Charles Manson family murders (which claimed the life of actress Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie in the movie) send the city around them into a state of panic.

Andrew Cooper/Columbia

“I can’t wait for the world to see Brad’s performance in this,” longtime Tarantino producer Shannon McIntosh told EW of the project. “He’s so wonderful and charismatic and I think he is the Brad that people fell in love with years ago. Especially when he’s going toe-to-toe with Leo, his performance is amazing, he looks great and I think people will be reminded why he is the movie star that we know he is.”

In addition to Once Upon a Time joining the Cannes lineup, Palme d’Or-winning filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche — whose reportedly controversial methods for filming his graphic same-sex love story Blue Is the Warmest Color caused a stir in 2013, will return to the Croisette with his latest, four-hour project about French youth in the ’90s called Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo.

Argentinian provocateur Gaspar Noé (Love, Climax) will also revisit Cannes out-of-competition with his Charlotte Gainsbourg-starring witch drama Lux Æterna, as will actor-director Gael García Bernal, whose Mexican-set drama Chicuarotes will bow as a special screening outside the main competition as well. 

Previously announced films screening at Cannes in clude Jim Jarmusch’s ensemble zombie movie The Dead Don’t Die, Penélope Cruz’s Pedro Almodovar-directed Pain and GloryElton John biopic Rocketman, and the Isabelle Huppert-fronted Frankie, from director Ira Sachs.

Oscar-winner Alejandro González Iñárritu will preside over the main competition’s jury, which will award the 2019 Palme d’Or to one of the 22 films in competition, while Capernaum director Nadine Labaki and French filmmaker Claire Denis (High Life) will lead the Un Certain Regard and Cinéfondation juries.

The 2019 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14-25. Following its Cannes world premiere, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is due in theaters on July 26.

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