Director Quentin Tarantino will turn his Oscar-nominated film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” into a novel under a new book deal he signed with publisher HarperCollins, the company announced on Tuesday.
Tarantino’s deal with Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is for two books. The “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” novelization will mark Tarantino’s first work of fiction in print, and the book is set to be published in the summer of 2021.
The book will not be a straight re-telling of the “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” story with TV actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth. The novel will “amplify” Tarantino’s original story and give a “fresh, playful and shocking departure from the film,” according to a HarperCollins press release. It will follow Dalton and Booth’s lives both forward and backward in time.
Inspired by the classic movie novelizations that inspired Tarantino, the novel will first be published as a Harper Perennial mass market paperback book, along with ebook and digital audiobook versions. A deluxe hardcover edition will be published in the fall of 2021.
“In the ’70s, movie novelizations were the first adult books I grew up reading,” Tarantino said in a 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.”
Tarantino’s second book will be a nonfiction novel titled “Cinema Speculation.” The book will be a deep dive into 1970s cinema and feature essays, reviews and personal writing from the director.
“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,” said HarperCollins’ Vice President and Executive Editor Noah Eaker.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” received 10 Academy Award nominations, including best picture, director and original screenplay. Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Dalton, earned a best actor nod, while Brad Pitt won for best supporting actor as Booth, his very first Oscar for acting.