Quentin Tarantino Cut Out Leonardo DiCaprio's Favorite Scene in 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood'

Quentin Tarantino‘s been making the rounds promoting his novelization of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and during one of his recent interviews he revealed that his favorite scene in the script was cut out of the final product.

In an interview with CinemaBlend’s Podcast, ReelBlend, the director talks about the scene and why he cut it.

Tarantino describes it as a phone conversation between Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Rick Dalton and Julia Butters‘ Trudi Fraser, the little girl he met on the production of Lancer. The scene acted as a bit of a button on their relationship and Tarantino said both he and Butters were full-on crying while filming it. But what was so great about it was also the reason it was cut out of the movie.

There was a bit of closure there for Rick and Trudi and Tarantino said it felt like an ending, which in the script was perfectly fine. It meant to be an ending of sorts, but as they assembled the footage they realized everything that happened afterwards wasn’t a long prologue… it was actually the third act of the movie, so with a heavy heart he cut the scene.

Not only was it Tarantino’s favorite scene in the script, the director also revealed that it was DiCaprio’s favorite scene to shoot.

You may remember DiCaprio was praising Butters’ performance everywhere he could during the release of the movie. He even called her a young Meryl Streep at one point. She’s great in the theatrical cut and if all the hubbub around this deleted scene is true it’s a shame we’ll never see it.

We can read about it, though. That scene is fully intact in Tarantino’s novelization, which in and of itself is a rarity. Back in the day, it was normal for pretty much every big studio film to get a book tie-in, but very rarely was that book authored by the writer/director themselves. However, the novelizations did often encompass scenes that never made it into the final film.

Novelizations vs. Films

I’ll always remember reading the Terminator 2: Judgment Day novelization and being shocked by a whole scene early on in the future war segment where we actually see the human resistance’s siege on Skynet. There’s a scene where grown up John Connor has to send Kyle Reese back, knowing he’s sending his own father to die, and then discovering the existence of the liquid metal terminator and realizing he has to send someone (or something) else back as well.

Sometimes those scenes were due to the author’s imagination, but more often than not it’s because the authors had to start their work very early in the process and started writing based off an early script. As far as I know, that T2 scene was never shot, but it’s very possible it was in an early draft of the script and excised by James Cameron.

Anyway, Tarantino’s novelization is out now and you can read it at your leisure.

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