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Quentin Tarantino is writing two books, including a Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novel

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
(Image credit: IMDb)

Quentin Tarantino is swapping the silver screen for the page – the director has signed a two-book deal with Harper, an imprint of publisher HarperCollins.

The first of these books will be a novelisation of 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, due to be released in summer 2021. It will follow the movie’s protagonists, TV actor Rick Dalton (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), both forward and backward in time.

“In the seventies movie novelizations were the first adult books I grew up reading,” Tarantino told Deadline. “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.”

Book number two, titled Cinema Speculation, will be nonfiction – it’s been described by the publisher 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.” 

In the past, Tarantino has cited film critic Pauline Kael as a literary hero and has previously dabbled in criticism himself. The filmmaker has previously said his tenth movie will be his last – and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was number nine.

While we wait for Tarantino’s literary endeavours to hit the shelves, check out the Total Film ranking of the best Quentin Tarantino movies.