10 Questions The Novel Can Answer


Following the success of Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, the filmmaker will be returning to the story in a recently announced novel. Not only is it exciting to learn that Tarantino is getting into the book business, but his debut novel could resolve some of the lingering questions of the movie.

RELATED: 5 Ways Reservoir Dogs Is Tarantino’s Best Movie (& 5 Ways It’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

The novel is said to focus on Rick Dalton’s career in Spaghetti Westerns, but there’s no reason Tarantino can’t address some storylines the movie touched on, from the characters orbiting Rick’s world to the alternate reality the movie’s climax creates. This book could give some more insight that would enrich the movie itself.

10 What Happened To Charles Manson?

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Charles Manson

Charles Manson became an infamous figure in American crime when he ordered the murder of Sharon Tate and her houseguests. The murders were carried out by members of the so-called Manson Family and sent shockwaves through society.

Of course, in the universe of the movie, none of this happened. The would-be murderers chose to go to Rick Dalton’s house instead where they are all brutally killed. Without the murders, it would be fascinating to see what becomes of Charles Manson. Would he try this carnage again, or would he just be forgotten and abandoned by his disillusioned followers?

9 Was Rick A Good Actor?

Leonardo DiCaprio gives a wonderful performance in the movie as Rick Dalton, a former television star trying to remain relevant in the changing industry. However, even after watching the movie, it’s hard to determine if Rick really is a good actor or not.

RELATED: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: 10 Movies That Inspired Tarantino’s Latest Film

We see some of his performances briefly and there is the extended sequence of him filming Lancer. But it’s still not clear exactly what to make of his abilities overall. Perhaps spending some time with him on set would give more of an answer.

8 What Happened To Sharon Tate?

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate

As the title suggests, the ending of the movie is almost like a fairy tale in which Sharon Tate, a promising and likable young woman, was spared her untimely death. Obviously, the audience can’t help but think about what Tate would accomplish if she did live.

It would be very difficult for Tarantino to expand too much further on this alternate reality he created and that is likely not something he wants to do either. But it would be nice for the novel to make even a brief mention of Tate and what became of her career after the events of the movie.

7 What Did Cliff Do In The War?

There is a lot about Cliff Booth that is not revealed in the movie, including his time in the war. Rick calls him a war hero at one point and jokingly refers to him as Audie Murphy, an American soldier who single-handedly held off an entire company of German soldiers during World War II.

In the film’s climax, we see that Cliff is certainly a trained killer and he even takes on Bruce Lee in a fight. If Tarantino were to explore Cliff’s exploits during the war it could likely be an entire novel on its own.

6 What Happened To Trudi Fraser?

One of the most memorable supporting characters in the movie is Trudi Fraser. She is a young actor who works with Rick on Lancer and who takes her craft very seriously. She is wise beyond her years and isn’t afraid to put Rick in his place.

RELATED: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Every Major Performance, Ranked

Maybe the novel could find Rick and Trudi working together again at some point. It could be interesting to see this young actor starting out in the business and watch how her career develops compared to Rick’s career, which seems to be nearing its end.

5 What Happened To George Spahn?

One of the most memorable sequences in the movie is when Cliff Booth takes a trip to Spahn Ranch. While Cliff knows it as an old Western movie location, it has now become the home for the Manson Family.

Cliff visits the owner of the ranch, George Spahn. Despite some initial tension, George seems to be perfectly fine with all these young hippies around. This is all taken from real life and was only found out following the Manson murders. Without the murders taking place, what would become of George? Would he still be safe with the Manson Family?

4 What Happened To Rick’s Career Afterwards?

At the end of the movie, once the Manson Family goons are dead and Cliff is taken to the hospital, Rick is invited up to his neighbor, Sharon Tate’s house. It is a moment that feels like Rick is moving into the next level of his career, finally getting accepted by the A-list.

There was some hint that Rick might be able to star in a Roman Polanski film. The novel could address whether or not becoming friendly with Tate really did improve Rick’s career or if he continued on his downward trajectory.

3 Did Rick Really Beat Bruce Lee?

One of the most controversial aspects of the film was its depiction of Bruce Lee. The iconic martial arts master and movie star is featured in a brief scene in which he arrogantly boasts about being able to beat Muhammad Ali in a fight and then gets in a fight with Cliff.

RELATED: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: 15 Hidden Details Everyone Completely Missed

Aside from not being a particularly flattering portrayal of the man, some fans took issue with Lee presumably losing the fight. However, that might be up for debate as we do only see the sequence through Cliff’s memory.

2 Did Rick And Cliff Stick Together?

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

When returning from his time shooting movies in Italy, Rick and Cliff are prepared to see their relationship come to an end. Rick is married and doesn’t think his career is going to rebound in the way that he was hoping. He laments that he just can’t afford to keep his stunt double and best friend around anymore.

Of course, that was before Rick and Cliff killed the Manson Family members together. Before Cliff is taken off to the hospital, the two friends share a touching moment together that perhaps suggests they will stay together after all.

1 Did Cliff Kill His Wife?

Brad Pitt in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The biggest question that doesn’t get an answer in the movie is about the fate of Cliff Booth’s wife. Cliff doesn’t seem to be accepted in show business anymore and we later find out it is because some people think that he killed his wife.

Though he was never charged with the crime, the flashback of their tense honeymoon suggests that he could have possibly done it. Given that Cliff becomes something of a hero at the end of the movie, it would be nice to get an answer as to whether it’s okay to like this guy or not.

NEXT: 10 Movies To See If You Loved Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

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Updated: November 30, 2020 — 9:30 pm

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