Quentin Tarantino is making good on a promise he teased back in April when he said on the “Pure Cinema Podcast” episode that he’s currently eyeing a novel adaptation of his 10-time Oscar nominee “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Tarantino said on the podcast, “I hadn’t thought about that until recently. But now I’m thinking a lot about it. I might be writing a novelization to ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.’” Now comes confirmation from Deadline that Tarantino has signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins imprint Harper for the “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” book and a work of non-fiction titled “Cinema Speculation.”
Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” book is due out in summer 2021 and will “start as a Harper Perennial mass market paperback, alongside e-book and digital audio editions. A deluxe hardcover edition will follow in the fall.” Per Deadline, the novelization of the film will follow Rick Dalton (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film) and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt in an Oscar-winning performance) “both forward and backward in time.” Set pieces that were seen in the film like the two actors’ time making Spaghetti Westerns in Italy will be extended in the book, while characters that got axed from the theatrical cut (Burt Reynolds, included) will reemerge.
“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.”
As for “Cinema Speculation,” Deadline describes the book as a “deep dive into the movies of the 1970’s, 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.” Pauline Kael is cited as an influence on Tarantino’s non-fiction book.
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.”
Head over to Deadline’s website to read more information about Tarantino’s new book deal.