Quentin Tarantino Announces The 'Death' Of Leonardo DiCaprio's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Character

Quentin Tarantino Announces The 'Death' Of Leonardo DiCaprio's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Character

I’ve written my fair share of obituaries during my time at CinemaBlend, like covering the passing of The Wire and John Wick star Lance Reddick in March. But today marks a first, as I’m here to go over the official announcement of a fictional character’s death. That’s because Quentin Tarantino has revealed that Rick Dalton, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is no longer with us.

This news was announced through Twitter by The Video Archives Podcast, which the filmmaker hosts with Roger Avary. Dalton, who was born in 1933, died peacefully at the age of 90 in his Hawaii home, with his wife Francesca Cappuci by his side. As shown in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the actor’s notable credits included Bounty Law, The Fireman trilogy and The 14 Fists of McClusky. While the podcast’s next episode had intended to discuss 1975’s Rollerball, Tarantino and Avary will instead discuss Dalton’s best roles. However, the latter made it clear in his own tweet that he didn’t like Dalton nearly as much as the former did.

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While the timing of this “announcement” is weird considering it came shortly after the public learned that NFL legend and actor Jim Brown died, it is amusing that Tarantino leaning into this bit so much. As for why this “news” is coming out now, I’m guessing it’s tied to the upcoming book The Films of Rick Dalton, which extensively delves into his film and TV work. Quentin Tarantino shared in July 2021 that he’d written the book, and by the following December, he said it would likely published after Cinema Speculation, his collection of film criticism essays. Cinema Speculation came out on November 1, 2022, so perhaps Tarantino now feels the time has come to give the world The Films of Rick Dalton.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood chronicled Rick Dalton in 1969 looking to revive his career at a time when he was only being cast to do TV guest spots as villains. He was accompanied by Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth, his trusty stuntman, who was dealing with his own career troubles thanks to the belief he deliberately killed his wife with a harpoon gun. Later on, Rick met Francesca, played by Lorenza Izzo, while working on movies in Italy. You can look over our Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ending piece to recall how Rick and Cliff’s got intertwined with the Manson Family, but in early 2020, Tarantino shared that this incident led to his film career getting a second wind, as opposed to him forming s friendship with Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski.

If you’re now in the mood to rewatch Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it can be streamed over at Starz. We here at CinemaBlend express our condolences to Rick Dalton’s family and friends… even though they too are fictional. As for Quentin Tarantino, he recently confirmed three things about his 10th (and potential final) movie, including that it’s called The Movie Critic.