The last we saw of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, things were looking up for the fading star. Having fended off an attack from the Manson Family, Rick finds himself invited into the home of his neighbour Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), presumably scoring himself a contact with her husband, the filmmaker Roman Polanski.
Well, if you’ve been wondering how things played out for Rick following the events of the movie, director Quentin Tarantino has you covered, with the filmmaker revealing to The Wrap that he’s been imagining – in rather specific detail – where Rick’s career went next.
“Recently I’ve been imagining the career he had after the movie. And I’ve gotten really, really, super into it,” said Tarantino. “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 continues. “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.
“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.”
While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get to see Leonardo DiCaprio back as Rick Dalton, Tarantino has recently revealed that he’s written five scripts for Bounty Law, the faux Western TV show starring DiCaprio’s Rick as lawman Jake Cahill, and has plans to shoot them as its own TV series.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbour… Sharon Tate.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained), Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet), Al Pacino (The Godfather), Damien Lewis (Billions), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs), Dakota Fanning (Ocean’s 8), Luke Perry (Riverdale), Emile Hirsch (The Autopsy of Jane Doe), James Marsden (Westworld), Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld), Julia Butters (American Housewife), Keith Jefferson (The Hateful Eight), Nicholas Hammond (The Sound of Music), Scoot McNairy (Halt and Catch Fire), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), Spencer Garrett (The Magicians), Martin Kove (Cobra Kai), James Remar (Django Unchained), Brenda Vaccaro (Once Is Not Enough), Nichole Galicia (Django Unchained), Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight), Mike Moh (Inhumans), Craig Stark (The Hateful Eight), Marco Rodriguez (Inhumans), Ramon Franco (Tour of Duty), Raul Cardona (Where the Sky Is Born), Lena Dunham (Girls), Maya Hawke (Stranger Things), Austin Butler (The Shannara Chronicles), Lorenza Izzo (Knock, Knock), Rumer Willis (Empire), Dreama Walker (Gossip Girl), Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers), Costa Ronin (The Americans), Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting of Hill House), Madisen Beaty (The Master), Danny Strong (Billions), Sydney Sweeney (The Handmaid’s Tale), Rafal Zawierucha (The Pact), Damon Herriman (Justified), and Palm Dog award-winner Brandy.