Quentin Tarantino is all set to release the novelization of his 2019 masterpiece Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The novel will further explore the backstories of the characters from the eponymous film. It will also include some scenes that didn't make it into the final cut of the film; and there are plenty of those. Tarantino regulars Tim Roth and Michael Madsen were supposed to cameo in the film but their scenes were entirely cut.
But they weren't alone. James Marsden (Westworld and X-Men), James Remar (The Warriors and Django Unchained), and Danny Strong (Gilmore Girls) didn't make the final edit of the film either. Damon Herriman (Justified) portrayed the notorious cult leader Charles Manson in Netflix's Mindhunter. Herriman played Manson so well that Tarantino cast him in the same role for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. But to our dismay, Herriman only appeared for one brief scene.
The trailer features never-before-seen footage of Al Pacino's Marvin Schwarz and Damon Herriman's Charles Manson. The trailer ends with another scene which was cut featuring Julia Butters and Leonardo DiCaprio's characters talking on the phone. Quentin Tarantino recently appeared on the Pure Cinema Podcast to talk about the novelization of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
"I think if you're a fan of the movie, I think you will get a kick out of reading the book, and exploring the characters further and deeper, and learning secrets that you didn't know, and were not in the movie. It's not just me taking the screenplay and then breaking it down in a novelistic form. I retold the story as a novel. So it's not like, 'Oh, okay, well he obviously had a few scenes left over, so he just took the screenplay and novelized it and threw in a few extra scenes.' It was a complete rethinking of the entire story and not just a rethinking as far as throwing some scenes that were left out of the editing room. But I did so much research."
The novel will also delve deeper into the backstory of Brad Pitt's mysterious character, Cliff Booth. The film implied that Cliff killed his wife and got away with it. Another controversial scene had him ridiculing Bruce Lee and then overpowering him in a fight. Though it looked like a dream sequence, the scene could have been a flashback as well. Anyway, it received a ton of backlash from Lee's fans. Here's what Quentin says about Cliff.
"In the movie, Cliff is a real enigma, you're kind of like, what's this guy's deal? And one of the things in the book is, there's these isolated chapters that tell you, like, this whole chapter will be about Cliff's past. It goes back in time to tell you about Cliff at this point in time. And then you go further on with the normal run of the story and there's another chapter that goes back in time and tells you about Cliff's past. And every isolated chapter that's just about Cliff's past is like a weird little pulp novel unto itself starring Cliff."
Maybe we will get to see the events played out differently in the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood book. After all, a movie is edited to be as satisfying and entertaining as possible. And Tarantino is known to write over-indulgent films that some believe run for too long. The Django Unchained screenplay featured too many characters who had to be merged into one, and Tarantino had to make drastic edits to keep the film under 3 hours. Tarantino has expressed his desire to release a 4 hour cut of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Hopefully, the novel is successful enough for Tarantino to do that. Looking forward, Harper Perennial will release the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novel on June 29. Be sure to check it out.