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Quentin Tarantino Is Writing An Expansive Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Novelization As Part Of Two-Book Deal

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Cooper/Sony Pictures.

Over the last three-plus decades, Quentin Tarantino has become one of the most beloved Hollywood directors, not just because of his sensationalized period pieces like Inglorious Basterds and exploitative character studies like Kill Bill:Vol. 1 but for his unadulterated passion for the industry.  Now, he’s bringing his love of film from the screen to the page, thanks to news of a new two-book publishing deal.

News broke on Tuesday that Tarantino signed a publishing deal with Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, to release to brand new books.  The first book will be a fiction novelization, his first ever in print, of the director’s 2019 film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which was nominated for 10 Oscars including Best Picture, expanding on the lore of the film’s two central characters: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth.  Set to be released next summer in paperback, followed soon after in the fall as a deluxe hardback edition, the book is inspired by other novelizations of ‘70s films, an art form that has long been one of the director’s true passions.

“In the ‘70s movie novelizations were the first adult books I grew up reading,” said Tarantino in a recent statement.  “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 as 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.”

According to Deadline, Dalton will encounter action star Burt Reynolds – who was set to play George Spahn in the film but died prior to production – along with ex-football star Jim Brown in the book, as the character continues to figure out life after Bounty Law.

Tarantino’s second book, Cinema Speculation, is a non-fiction delve into the films of the same decade and will feature a mixture of essays, reviews and personal writings about some of the director’s favorites – inspired by Pauline Kael, a well known film critic for The New Yorker.  Kael is often cited as one of Tarantino’s literary heroes and an influence in transitioning to writing, which he’s hinted could become his new full-time career.  There’s been no official release date for Cinema Speculation.