American auteur Quentin Tarantino has extensive experience as a screenwriter but it wasn’t until recently that he made the jump into the world of novels. For his debut book, Tarantino chose to conduct a novelisation of his 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in which he expanded the cinematic universe to the delight of fans.
In an interview, Tarantino explained: “I like novelisations, and two years ago I started digging out my old ones. They were the first adult books I ever read, and I started re-reading the ones that I really liked and then reading some of the ones that I thought that I’d never got around to reading. I started thinking, ‘What a fun genre this is. This is really cool.'”
Adding, “There’s a limiting aspect to a screenplay. It just can’t be whatever you want it to be. You are making a movie. And at some point it has to [conform to] the length of a movie, at least for its initial theatrical run. So I’m not going to just stick two guys sitting in a bar shooting the shit in the third act of a film, because that just doesn’t really work. But it completely works as a novel.”
Tarantino recently revealed in an exclusive interview that the ending for the novel is different from the film for a good reason. In the book, the narrative ends with a phone call between Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Trudi (Julia Butters). “There’s a reason it’s not in the movie,” Tarantino commented. “If you play that scene, that’s the end. You almost have to start the movie all over again.”
“The night of the murders was the epilogue,” Tarantino added. “I even had ‘epilogue’ pop up before it starts. But what we learned is, the night of the murders in August isn’t an epilogue. It’s the third act… I pretty much knew from the beginning that I wasn’t going to include the ending that’s in the movie. And that seemed to be the right time.”
Tarantino will also release a non-fiction book which Deadline describes as “a deep dive into the movies of the 1970s, a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalising ‘what if’s’, from one of cinema’s most celebrated filmmakers, and its most devoted fan.”