Celebrated filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has often publicly announced his plans to retire from filmmaking to "lean into the literary" and his intention of writing a novelization of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to coincide with the theatrical cut. Now, he is ready to deliver on both promises, as he has signed a new 2-book deal with HarperCollins, beginning with a novelization of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood explored 1960s Hollywood along with the much-publicized Manson Family murders in 1969, with Leonardo DiCaprio as fading character actor Rick Dalton alongside his loyal stunt double, Cliff Booth plyed Brad Pitt. They are both trying to make sense of the changing times and the mercurial industry, while making attempts to rekindle their careers.
But the upcoming novelization of the film by the Oscar-winning filmmaker won't just be a blow-by-blow account of what happened in the film. The novel will work to expand the story, offering a deeper insight into the characters while giving it a "fresh, playful and shocking departure from the film," as per HarperCollins press release. And as for Tarantino, he is "thrilled" to once again explore his characters with a depth that cinematic presentation doesn't allow.
"In the '70s movie novelizations were the first adult books I grew up reading. 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 subgenre 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."
The novel is currently scheduled for a 2021 summer release in the form of a "Harper Perennial mass-market paperback," an e-book as well as digital audio editions, followed by a hardcover version in the fall. The novelization of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will explore Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth's story "both forward and backward in time." The novel will reportedly include extensions of beloved scenes from the film and will also introduce as well as include characters like Burt Reynolds who never made it to the post-edited version of the movie.
Given Tarantino's excellent resume of delivering cinematic gems, HarperCollins vice president and executive editor Noah Eaker has high hopes for the upcoming books. "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," he said in a statement.
The second book that Tarantino will be writing is titled Cinema Speculation, which is going to be a nonfiction book taking a "deep dive into the movies of the 1970s, a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalizing 'what ifs,' from one of cinema's most celebrated filmmakers, and its most devoted fan."
The news of the famed director-writer turning to a literary career doesn't come as a surprise as Tarantino has often mentioned his plans of hanging up his director-hat the moment he is done helming his 10th film and become an author. In a chat with film critic Peter Travers in early 2020, he had confessed that he feels a little old to take on the hectic task of directing, which seriously hampers his attempts to spend more time with his family.
"I do feel that directing is a young man's game. I do feel that cinema is changing, and I'm a little bit part of the old guard. I kind of feel this is the time for the third act [of my life] to just lean a little bit more into the literary, which would be good as a new father, as a new husband. I wouldn't be grabbing my family and yanking them to Germany or Sri Lanka or wherever the next story takes place. I can be a little bit more of a homebody, and become a little bit more of a man of letters."
Termed as a rose-tinted tribute to the Hollywood's "golden ages," Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was a Tarantino masterpiece that went on to nab 10 Oscar nominations and even won Pitt his first Academy Award. This news comes to us via Deadline.