Quentin Tarantino Says ‘Once Upon A Time’ Was Originally Going To Be A Novel & Is Now His Version Of ‘Roma’

The Playlist | 5/21/2019 | Charles Barfield
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Just from watching the two trailers for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” it’s obvious that there’s a lot of stuff going on in the film. There’s the main plot that involves Leonardo Dicaprio’s Rick Dalton and his stuntman/BFF played by Brad Pitt. There’s the changing landscape of Hollywood in 1969. And on top of all of this, there’s the subplot involving Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate falling victim to Charles Manson and his “Family.”

What’s maybe most interesting is the fact that Tarantino admits that “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” started its life as a prospective novel written by the filmmaker. However, over the years, the story morphed and the idea of making it into a movie became more obvious.


“I let it become what it wanted to become,” he said. “For a long time, I didn’t want to accept it. Then I did.”

What it became is apparently the most personal film in Tarantino’s filmography. And in describing the new project, the director likens it to one of the most acclaimed films of 2018.

Memory - Piece - Tarantino - Alfonso - Cuarón

“I think of it like my memory piece,” said Tarantino. “Alfonso [Cuarón] had Roma and Mexico City, 1970. I had L. A. and 1969. This is me. This is the year that formed me. I was six years old then. This is my world. And this is my love letter to L. A.”

As with any conversation with filmmakers and stars in 2019, the topic of streaming came about, more specifically the way that streaming seems to be the harbinger of a new era of Hollywood. DiCaprio has recognized this and thinks that the best way to ensure that some of our favorite filmmakers and films survive the transition is to support quality cinema.

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“I’m not saying celebrate this movie, but let’s...
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