Tarantino's fanbase helped make Once Upon a Time In Hollywood one of the most celebrated films of last year. The adventures of has-been actor Rick Dalton and his spry stunt double Cliff Booth -- with all-timer performances from stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, respectively -- helped net its writer-director another box office hit and major awards contender.
Tarantino made no secret that he shot a ton of footage for the 161-minute movie -- and even wrote a few episodes of the film's fictional Western series, Bounty Law -- and audiences might get their chance to see those scenes in an epic cut of the film sooner rather than later.
Taking a page from his Hateful Eight expanded cut that hit Netflix in 2019, Tarantino (along with Pitt) revealed at Collider's recent Special FYC screening at Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles that a four-hour cut of the film could likely arrive in 2021.
"It’s all good. It’s all great. I don’t know if an audience would sit for it, but I love it,” Tarantino said at a Q & A at the FYC screening.
Credit: Sony PicturesOnce Upon a Time... was re-released in theaters in October 2019 with 10 minutes of new footage. When Tarantino was figuring out what to add, he screened the supercut of the film for distributor Sony Pictures and its chief, Tom Rothman, to aid in the process.
“So, we showed it to Tom Rothman, and it was like, ‘Okay, here this all is. We know that this is a movie, but maybe you can help us out because we like everything.’”
Pitt also heartedly endorsed the Tarantino Cut. At the Q & A, he echoed what fans everywhere on Film Twitter have been saying for months: “The real question is, are we going to get to see this one way or another?"
In response to cheers from the crowd, Tarantino revealed: “Hey, look, it’s all good, so once this whole thing is said and done, maybe in a year’s time, we probably will.”
That "thing" is the awards circuit. Which likely means that once the dust settles post-Oscars and Sony and Tarantino see how many nominations and awards the film adds (or doesn't add) to their respective mantles, fans will get four hours of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.
With everyone's focus on the Oscar race right now, and its filmmakers and stars aggressively promoting the film, fans have to be patient for the awards cycle to end before they can start buying tickets (or streaming) more from Tarantino's revisionist history love letter to 1969 Los Angeles.