Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Novel Will Reveal Cliff's Backstory

The upcoming novelization of the movie will offer some insight into Brad Pitt's character.


Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Once Upon A Time in Hollywood novel will dig into Cliff Booth's backstory, which might be exciting for fans since the movie doesn't really go there.

On the latest episode of the Pure Cinema podcast, Tarantino said the novelization, which releases on June 29, will offer special insights into the world and characters of the film. It will contain secrets that were not in the movie, and this includes backstory about the stuntman Cliff (Brad Pitt).

"I was writing it for five years, so there was so much stuff that I wrote and I explored that I never even typed up, because there was no way it was going to make the movie, but it was edification, it made me understand the characters, it made me learn things about them," he said (via Entertainment Weekly). "I'm trying to tell a novelistic version of these characters. If the book existed first, then the movie would be me making a movie out of that material. You know how you take an unwieldy novel and try to turn it into a movie? Well, to me, the movie is that. This is the unwieldy version of the movie."

Tarantino promised that the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood book will finally reveal more details about Booth, whose backstory was never fully provided in the film.

"In the movie, Cliff is a real enigma, you're kind of like, what's this guy's deal?" Tarantino said. "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."

Cliff is the stuntman for Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Rick Dalton. There are whispers that Cliff killed his wife, and there is even a flashback scene showing the two of them on a boat, but the movie never reveals what really happened. Perhaps the novel will finally answer the question.

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