Oscars 2020: Quentin Tarantino Reveals This ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Character’s Real Ending

Filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino, is a frontrunner in this year’s Academy Awards for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film has already garnered awards and a lot of buzz for Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio’s dual narratives. That said, Tarantino recently revealed the end of the movie wasn’t necessarily the end for one major character.

[Spoiler alert for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood below]

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ reimagines a tragic true story

Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino, winner of Best Picture for ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Champagne Collet

Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood aims to tell a different version of a true Hollywood crime.

The movie takes place in 1969 and follows a once successful actor, Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), who’s been forced to take minor and supporting roles to keep working. At his side is devoted stunt double and former green beret in WWII, Cliff Booth (Pitt). His career is on the decline along with Rick’s.

While the stories of Rick and Cliff play out, another story unfolds with Rick’s next-door neighbor, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), and her husband, Roman Polanski.

Naturally, Rock hopes having Polanski as a neighbor will help him get his foot into more doors. However, one fateful night, August 8, 1969, would’ve marked a tragic end had Tarantino not written a completely different ending.

The true story behind the inspiration is haunting. Tate, along with four others, were a part of the Manson Family killings in a home invasion. Murders of Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary at their house the next night followed. Tarantino, however, rewrote Tate’s ending, making Rick and Cliff the unlikeliest of heroes.

Here’s how Tarantino envisions the real ending for one character

If you’ll remember, the film ends with Rick and Cliff fighting off the Manson Family murderers. They prevented the murders from happening. Those heart-stopping scenes involved Cliff’s dog and a flamethrower, defeating the killers.

Some wonder what actually became of Rick’s character once he met Tate. Tarantino explained, in his own words to The Wrap, exactly what went down post-credits.

“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,” he said.

He continued: “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.”

Tarantino goes one, saying Rick is a bigger name after the Manson incident, making more money and doing better shows.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Who is ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ up against?

The ensemble drama and screenplay took Tarantino, who’s won two Academy Awards for best original screenplay, years to perfect. The award nominations are pouring in, which is abnormal considering Tarantino’s work typically includes violence, swearing, and the like.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood snagged 10 Oscar nominations for best picture, director, actor, supporting actor, original screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing, sound editing, costume design, and production design.

The film is up against 1917, Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit, The Irishmen, Joker, Little Women, and Parasite for the best picture category. DiCaprio and Pitt are frontrunners for leading actor and supporting actor.