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John Carpenter rejected iconic Tarantino movie star for The Thing

John Carpenter turned down some great actors for his iconic horror movie, among them being the eccentric star of one of Quentin Tarantino's most recent films.

Kurt Russell in The Thing

Turns out John Carpenter turned down some major Hollywood talent for The Thing  — according to Quentin Tarantino, anyway. In a new interview, Tarantino reveals that one of the best horror movies ever almost starred none other than Rick Dalton, the icon depicted in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.

Tarantino and co-writer Roger Avary go long on Rick’s career in the Video Archives Podcast. They chart his work from the ’50s through to the ’90s, intersecting with superhero movie legend Richard Donner among others. At one point, Rick moved towards TV series because films stopped working out for him, a rejection of The Thing being salt in the wound.

“They put him on Johnny Carson after that, and he was a big hit on the Johnny Carson show,” Tarantino explained, “and then all of a sudden, because of the notoriety, he started doing better TV shows. He went from, like, doing Land of the Giants and Green Hornet to doing Mission: Impossible.”

In 1999 Tarantino himself held a panel with Rick, where they reminisced about his long, winding filmography. Truly one of the greats, the Fireman series of thriller movies proved to be his flagship work when all was said and done.

You can find more musings on the podcast, which is a fun listen if you enjoy Hollywood history. Tarantino, ever the geek about American film culture, loves getting into Rick’s history, including his longstanding partnership with Cliff Booth, who eventually became an action movie director.

Glorious, truly. Check out our list of the best movies for more of Hollywood’s finest and our new movies guide as well.