Quentin Tarantino’s last directorial effort isn’t going to happen for a while as he continues to expand his Oscar winner “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” into other mediums. The director’s “Hollywood” novelization is now available for purchase (and an instant bestseller on the Amazon book charts), and he confirmed during an interview on “The Big Picture” podcast (via /Film) that next up for “Hollywood” is a stage play adaptation.
“Believe it or not, I’ve written a play version of [‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’],” Tarantino said. “I wanted to write a play, and stuff that’s not in the book…I wanted it to exist as a play. And again, I’m able to explore stuff that’s not in the [movie]. The play deals with Italy.”
Tarantino wrote the stage play adaptation in the “six or seven months” after he wrote the first draft of the movie. The filmmaker did not let anyone read the script during this period, not even his agents, and he sat on it while adapting “Hollywood” into a stage play and writing other tangential material to the film, including five television scripts for the fictional “Hollywood” Western series “Bounty Law” (Tarantino spoke about that series at length during the press tour for “Hollywood” in 2019)
“Just to give you a hint of the play,” Tarantino added, “the whole second act of the play is [Leonardo DiCaprio’s character] Rick [Dalton] and [Al Pacino’s character] Marvin [Schwarz] having dinner with [spaghetti western director] Sergio Corbucci and Nori Corbucci at their favorite Japanese restaurant in Rome. Rick doesn’t have the part [yet]. Depending on how this dinner goes, means whether Rick is going to be Nebraska Jim or not.”
The “Hollywood” movie covers Rick’s Spaghetti Western phase through narration. While viewers know that Rick lands the part of Nebraska Jim and finds success in Italy, the play would fill in the gaps to reveal just how Rick landed the career-saving part.
Will Tarantino mount a stage production of his “Hollywood” play? “That’s the idea,” the director said. “I mean, we’ll see what happens, but my plan is to do this book, I just did this, then finish the cinema book, then the next thing on the list is to start thinking about the play…I’m not going to think about [my] last movie for a while. I’m doing other things right now.”
When the “Hollywood” novel was first announced, it was part of news revealing Tarantino had signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins. The second book coming next is a non-fiction work titled “Cinema Speculation,” described as “a deep dive into the movies of the 1970’s, a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalizing ‘what if’s'” influenced by Pauline Kael.