Quentin Tarantino on what happened to Rick Dalton after the film ended

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino

SPOILERS for ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Consider yourself warned. Quentin Tarantino's ode to the last days of the golden age of Hollywood was quite the star-studded affair, boasting a cast which featured Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and many more. While speaking with The Wrap recently, Quentin Tarantino is grateful they were given the budget to do everything "old-school style."

We got to make it the full-on way. There’s a different version of this movie where we don’t have this much money, and we’re having to cut corners. We’re having to do more CGI, we’re having to build less and just build it around one building that still exists from that time period. And look — that movie would be good, too. But to actually be able to do it old-school style was wonderful, That’s a luxury in today’s Hollywood.

As for whether he would have done the "cheap" version of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, Tarantino said that he probably would have, but pondered, "I don’t know if a cut-rate ‘Sorcerer’ is better than no ‘Sorcerer.’ I don’t know what the cut-rate ‘Apocalypse Now’ or cut-rate ‘Blade Runner’ is. Now, I’m not trying to say that my movie is on the canvas of ‘Blade Runner’ or ‘Sorcerer’ or any of those movies. But a cheapie version of that is not necessarily what I would want to see."

Quentin Tarantino has devoted a lot of time to fleshing out the world of Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), and revealed what the actor likely got up to following wielding his flamethrower to take out members of the Manson family.

The whole incident with the flamethrower and the hippies got a lot of play. No one quite knows what a big deal that was, but it was still a big deal. And it’s a big deal that he killed ‘em with the flamethrower, with the prop from one of his most popular movies. So he starts becoming in demand again. I mean, not in demand like Michael Sarrazin at that time was in demand, but he’s got some publicity and now all of a sudden “The 14 Fists of McCluskey” is playing more on Channel 5 during Combat Week and stuff. And so he gets offered a couple of features — low-budget ones, but studio ones. But the thing is, on the episodic-TV circuit, he’s a bigger name now. He’s not quite Darren McGavin, all right? Darren McGavin would get paid the highest you could get paid as a guest star back in that time. But Rick’s about where John Saxon was, maybe just a little bit higher. So he’s getting good money and doing the best shows. And the episodes are all built around him.

"So as opposed to doing ‘Land of the Giants’ and ‘Bingo Martin,’ now he’s the bad guy on ‘Mission: Impossible,’ and it’s his episode." Tarantino continued. "Oh, and he does a Vince Edwards show, ‘Matt Lincoln.’ Or a Glenn Ford show, ‘Cade’s County.’ And that’s a big deal, ’cause he did ‘Hell-Fire Texas’ with Glenn Ford and they didn’t really get along. But now they bury the hatchet and they make a big deal about the two guys doing it together. And then he does a couple of Paul Wendkos’ TV movies. And you know, he’s doing OK." We may not have seen the last of Rick Dalton, as Tarantino has teased that he would like to direct five episodes of Bounty Law, the fictional western TV series on which Dalton starred as Jake Cahill.

Source: The Wrap

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.