Quentin Tarantino's sole adaptation up until now was 1997's Jackie Brown, which reworked Elmore Leonard's novel. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood marks the second adaptation for the filmmaker – but this time, it's an adaptation of his own work. The Tarantino-penned novelization arrives later this month, and the trailer promoting the book includes never-before-seen footage from the movie.
Scheduled for publication June 29, the novel deepens the story laid out in the feature. The trailer promoting the book's release does more than that, splicing new footage alongside material included in the 161-minute theatrical cut. Al Pacino’s Marvin Schwarz and Damon Herriman’s Charles Manson make appearances, the latter only making a brief cameo in the finished version. We're also treated to a new scene featuring Leonardo DiCaprio's Rick Dalton chatting with Julia Butters' precocious actor, Trudi Fraser.
Tarantino spoke about his process on converting the screenplay into a novel, which goes deeper than you might expect. "It was a complete rethinking of the entire story and not just a rethinking as far as throwing some scenes that were left out of the editing room," he tells Pure Cinema, the in-house podcast for Tarantino-owned New Beverly Cinema.
According to Tarantino, the novel heightens the story for fans of the movie, those keen on "exploring the characters further and deeper, and learning secrets that you didn't know, and were not in the movie."
Interesting to note, Brad Pitt's Cliff Booth appears in footage we've already seen, however, Tarantino plans to shine a light on his complicated backstory. "In the movie, Cliff is a real enigma, you're kind of like, what's this guy's deal?" Tarantino added. "And one of the things in the book is, there's these isolated chapters that tell you, like, this whole chapter will be about Cliff's past. It goes back in time to tell you about Cliff at this point in time. And then you go further on with the normal run of the story and there's another chapter that goes back in time and tells you about Cliff's past. And every isolated chapter that's just about Cliff's past is like a weird little pulp novel unto itself starring Cliff."
Here's hoping the novel might explain what happened to Cliff's wife. We'll find out soon as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hits shelves June 29. Don't expect this to be the last of Tarantino's literary ambitions; the filmmaker landed a two-book publishing deal with Harper Perennial. The second, titled Cinema Speculation, is a non-fiction dive into the movies of the 1970s.
Before either of his tomes arrive, scope out our ranking of the best Quentin Tarantino movies.