Movies

Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Novel Confirmed for 2021, Will Feature Deleted Scenes From the Movie

Back in April, Quentin Tarantino teased on the “Pure Cinema Podcast” that he was considering writing a novel adaptation of his 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. And now, Tarantino will get to write that novel after landing a two-book deal with the HarperCollins imprint Harper. Under the deal, Tarantino is writing a Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novel as well as a non-fiction book titled Cinema Speculation

Deadline reports that Tarantino has signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins imprint Harper to write a Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novel and a non-fiction book titled Cinema Speculation, which will be a Pauline Kael-inspired “deep dive into the movies of the 1970s, a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalizing ‘what if’s,’ from one of cinema’s most celebrated filmmakers, and its most devoted fan.”

The two books sound like they’ll somewhat go hand-in-hand, as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Tarantino’s nostalgic ode to ’60s cinema, which saw Hollywood on the cusp of a seismic cultural shift. The 10-time Oscar nominated film starred Leonardo DiCaprio as washed-up actor Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt, in an Oscar-winning performance, as his stunt double Cliff Booth, as they mostly just hung out in ’60s Hollywood – with the shadow of the Manson Family looming over it. But it was Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth’s close friendship and sweet dynamic that was the real draw of the film, which Tarantino will expand on in the novelization, which Deadline says will follow the characters “both forward and backward in time.” The book will feature deleted and extended scenes, like the two actors’ time making spaghetti Westerns in Italy, as well as characters who were axed from the theatrical cut (like Burt Reynolds).

“In the seventies movie novelizations were the first adult books I grew up reading,” Tarantino told Deadline. “And to this day I have a tremendous amount of affection for the genre. So as a movie-novelization aficionado, I’m proud to announce Once Upon A Time In Hollywood my contribution to this often marginalized, yet beloved sub-genre in literature. I’m also thrilled to further explore my characters and their world in a literary endeavor that can (hopefully) sit alongside its cinematic counterpart.”

HarperCollins vice president and executive editor Noah Eaker added in a statement, “Quentin Tarantino’s literary talents have been in plain sight since his first scripts, but to see how skillfully he endows his characters with life on the page and how he constantly takes a reader by surprise, even one who knows the movie by heart, is to see a master storyteller trying on a new form and making it his own.”

Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novel is set to hit shelves in summer 2021, and will first be rolled out as a Harper Perennial mass market paperback, alongside e-book and digital audio editions. A deluxe hardcover edition will follow in the fall.

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