We don’t know when Quentin Tarantino’s tenth and “final” film will come along (my suspicion is that he’ll keep tweaking what he means by “tenth” to keep making movies), but he’s keeping busy. Deadline reports that the directors has two books on the way, the first of which will be a Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novelization due out in summer 2021. “Appropriately, the throwback novel will start as a Harper Perennial mass market paperback, alongside e-book and digital audio editions. A deluxe hardcover edition will follow in the fall,” says Deadline.
The novelization will cover more material than the film and allow Tarantino to talk about Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth making Spaghetti Westerns, come across icons like Burt Reynolds (who was slated to play the George Spahn role in the movie before he passed away), and interactions with other celebrities like Jim Brown and Fred Williamson.
“In the seventies movie novelizations were the first adult books I grew up reading,” says Tarantino. “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 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.”
While I’m obviously going to end up buying this novelization (Once Upon a Time continues to improve for me with each re-watch, and I’m eager to spend more time with these characters), I’m even more interested in the non-fiction book Tarantino has in the works, Cinema Speculation. This book is described by the publisher as a “deep dive into the movies of the 1970’s, a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalizing “what if’s,” from one of cinema’s most celebrated filmmakers, and its most devoted fan.”
For me, Tarantino’s encyclopedic knowledge of cinema and his ability to take viewers down obscure avenues they never knew existed is an exciting prospect, and I think there will be a lot of fascinating information to uncover. While Once Upon a Time sounds like a fun read, Cinema Speculation sounds like something cinephiles can really use to go down various rabbit holes and continue to expand their cinematic landscapes. I’m sure there will be much to discuss with both books, and part of me hopes that if Once Upon a Time is a success, Tarantino might be inclined to give the same novelization treatment to his other movies.