Clocking in at just under three hours, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is by no means a short movie. (And no one is calling it a short movie, so stop accusing us of such). But for fans of the film, those who have seen it numerous times at Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, too much is never enough. Margot Robbie, the film’s star, says that a 20-hour cut of the movie exists; though, not even her star power is getting that thing released. All in all, it seems like the most we’re going to get is Tarantino’s novelization of the movie, which, judging by the trailer released today, is loaded with goodies for any trip down Hollywood Blvd.
And there are a lot of goodies. It’s beginning to feel like Tarantino’s torturing us like so many masked men in so many boxes. The trailer teases a lot of that footage that fans would undoubtedly love to see in a new cut. More Mama Cass, more Charles Manson, and another conversation between Rick Dalton and Trudi Fraser? Come on. Still, Tarantino promises that the book will clear up some of the faux Tinseltown gossip sprinkled throughout the movie, such as did Cliff Booth kill his wife and who called Once Upon A Time In Hollywood a short movie?
“In the movie, Cliff is a real enigma, you’re kind of like, what’s this guy’s deal?” Quentin Tarantino said on the New Beverly’s Pure Cinema podcast. “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.”
Tarantino’s first novel may not get around to filling in all of his movie’s omissions (who called the film short?), but it’s the trailer that will leave fans salivating for more. If there can be a four-hour cut of Justice League, we can surely get an extended version of Once Upon A Time. Before Tarantino retires, please, release the 20-hour cut.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: A Novel hits bookstores on June 29.
Note: The original text of this story stated that the book was 224 pages long. It’s 416 pages.