Will ‘The Films of Rick Dalton’ by Quentin Tarantino ever be published?
by Ana Walia | Fri, 07 Jan 2022 20:35:33 GMT
Image Source: Wikipedia, Bloody Disgusting

Ace director Quentin Tarantino recently revealed that he has penned down a script for one of his beloved characters from one of his most successful movies, 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood;' which featured Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. The character he wrote about is Rick Dalton. 

Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed Rick Dalton, who was dangerously close to being washed up and got stuck making guest appearances on bad dramas and variety shows. Rick Dalton hasn’t starred in a movie as a lead role in years and is on the wrong end of an ever-changing Hollywood. Leonardo DiCaprio was highly appreciated for his portrayal of Rick Dalton, along with Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Cliff Booth.

Quentin Tarantino spoke to Empire recently during a podcast interview and revealed that he has written an adjacent book titled, ‘The Films of Rick Dalton’. He said, "You know in the ‘70s, you could get those books like The Films of Charles Bronson, The Films Of Anthony Quinn? Well, this is that ... It gives you a little quickie biography of his life. And then it starts going through the career: '... and then there's this episodic television show, and then this other television show, and then this movie, and that movie', and starts with the small parts he has in this one, and it builds, with little reviews of each thing, little synopses of each of them. And it goes through the entire career until he retires in 1988." The director explained that the book was not only written by him in real life, but in-universe it was also written by Quentin Tarantino in the late 90s.

Explaining the last point, Quentin said, "Because in this pretext, Rick retires and moves to Hawaii. And so I go, in 1998, to the Hawaii International Film Festival. I'm there, and Roger Ebert's there, and I’m seeing films. And then one of the festival people goes, ‘Hey, so is there anybody in Hawaii that you'd like to meet?’ You go, ‘Well, who's worth meeting here in Hawaii?’ ‘Well, Don Ho’s here, and this one is here, and that one's here. Rick Dalton's here…’ ‘Woah, woah, Rick Dalton? I wondered what the fuck happened to that guy!’‘ Well, he retired in 1988, and him and his wife Francesca [Lorenza Izzo’s character, who Rick marries in the film], they moved to Hawaii…’"

Quentin Tarantino with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio for the promotions of 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'. Image Source: Empire 

Quentin Tarantino further adds, "So they arrange a lunch. He comes down to the hotel that I'm staying at, and there's Rick! He's about 40 pounds heavier, but there he is. So we have a ball, and he's a really nice fellow, and my movie shows and he comes to the screening. He shows up usually every year for a couple of screenings, he's long since retired – and I have such a good time with him that the next year, ’99, I arrange a Rick Dalton retrospective. We show some prints of his movies, have a nice little thing for him, and he likes that. And then that spurs me to write an appreciation of his career called ‘The Man Who Would Be McQueen: The Films Of Rick Dalton’. And so I write it, and it’s prefaced by this huge Q& A that I had with Rick at that time. It’s all written. It exists!"

On asking whether the book was going to see the light of day or not, the director admitted, "I think there’s a limited audience to it. but everybody who likes Rick, and cares about Rick, and is interested in the trajectory of Rick and has now become invested in my alternative history of Hollywood…well, this takes the alternative history of Hollywood all the way to the bitter end".

Quentin mentioned that although he has publishers who are interested in publishing the book but right now he is more involved in finishing up, 'Cinema Speculation' which is described as a "deep dive into the movies of the 1970s, a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalizing' what if's,' from one of cinema's most celebrated filmmakers, and its most devoted fan."

What are your thoughts on ‘The Films of Rick Dalton’?