The subject of how long a movie could and should be has come up more than a couple of times in recent news cycles. And no one knows about it better than Quentin Tarantino, as he’s already dropped a stealth experiment in re-editing a previous film with the extended mini-series version of The Hateful Eight, and a longer cut of Django Unchained mentioned as in the works.
And now that he’s premiered his new film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood to an eager and accepting crowd at the Cannes Film Festival, he’s preemptively talking about making this latest film longer than it already is.
The current cut of Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film sits at the running time of 2 hours and 39 minutes. And that'a because, as Tarantino himself stated in a recent interview, he had a specific mantra when it came to how he and editor Fred Raskin decided how to put it all together. It coincides with his wishes to extend Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which he expresses in the remarks below:
I wouldn’t take anything else out. I’m going to explore possibly putting something back in. If anything, I wanted to go to Cannes too short. if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on too tight.
As the story goes, Quentin Tarantino and Fred Raskin aimed for a cut that not only satisfied what Tarantino wanted out of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, but also outpaced the “old Quentin movie” time frame of 2 hours and 45 minutes. Now that the job’s been done though, it feels like QT is ready to take the audience’s reactions, and his own mental notes, to put some more material back into his next blockbuster picture.
He has a lot of material to work with too, as IndieWire’s coverage on Quentin Tarantino’s latest mentioned that Fred Raskin had crafted an initial 4 hour and 20 minute cut, which basically had “everything” intact. So we could see the length of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood jump anywhere from a couple of minutes to a whole lot of time, depending on where Quentin Tarantino wants to go with the film.
We wouldn’t expect all that much to be added back in, as after all, this is supposed to be a theatrical experience. But as with Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight (and hopefully fulfilling a promise he made years ago, Kill Bill), Once Upon A Time In Hollywood could find itself expanded into a much longer experience in the streaming and home video afterglow. That's provided it’s a success in the box office, as originally intended. Which, after watching the most recent trailer below, feels like a distinct possibility.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood shakes up history on July 26th, but if you’re looking for something a little more immediate at the box office, check out our 2019 release schedule and see what’s headed down the road.