Quentin Tarantino explains Once Upon a Time in Hollywood book's different ending

·2-min read
Photo credit: Kevin Winter - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevin Winter - Getty Images

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino has addressed the novelisation's ending, which is different from the cinematic version.

Featuring a stable of acting heavyweights in Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell and Bruce Dern, the original 2019 flick climaxed with members of the Manson Family accosting actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth at home to violent effect.

As an author, Tarantino switched things up to end his book with a phonecall between Rick and the young Lancer star Trudi, while placing his wild history-alteration much earlier in the story and only mentioning it briefly.

Photo credit: Jamie McCarthy - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jamie McCarthy - Getty Images

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"There's a reason [the phonecall isn't] in the movie," he recently told Empire Magazine. "If you play that scene, that's the end. You almost have to start the movie all over again.

"The night of the murders was the epilogue. I even had 'epilogue' pop up before it starts. But what we learned is, the night of the murders in August isn't an epilogue. It's the third act."

For those who've read Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the book, you'll know that it functions completely differently to the movie, and Tarantino said that he always knew he'd reshuffle the pack during the adaptation process.

"I pretty much knew from the beginning that I wasn't going to include the ending that's in the movie," he explained. "And that seemed to be the right time."

Photo credit: Sony Pictures
Photo credit: Sony Pictures


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In Digital Spy's three-star review of the movie, we wrote: "The pacing and weaker story, combined with dialogue that doesn't have the usual zip, are what makes Once Upon a Time in Hollywood a mid-tier Tarantino effort, despite his obvious passion for the era.

"Some will savour every second; others will find it slow and a bit pointless."

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the novel is available to buy now.

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