(Credits: Far Out / Miramax / YouTube Still)
Since his directional debut in 1992, the unique filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has shaped a cinematic career of unparalleled dignity and consistency. His unique script-writing style and directional grasp make for a familiar yet fresh experience in each new movie.
Beyond expected cameo roles, production duties and script-writing collaborations, Tarantino has long maintained that he will throw the towel in on his directional career after his tenth movie. Naturally, as the years roll away and Tarantino’s movies arrive, fans have become ever more fearful of the master auteur’s tearful sunset.
When Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood arrived in 2019, some fans suggested that Tarantino may never return, given that it was his tenth movie. However, as Tarantino has clarified, his 2000s martial arts masterpiece, Kill Bill, is technically just one film, leaving room for the forthcoming swansong, The Movie Critic.
“Technically, we released it as two movies, and there is a closing and an opening credits [on each movie],” Tarantino said during a 2019 appearance on the CinemaBlend podcast. “But I made it as one movie, and I wrote it as one movie.”
Kill Bill only became two movies after filming had finished. It was decided that a four-hour movie might have been a lot to swallow in one sitting. Either way, it would always have been considered one of Tarantino’s defining achievements.
The extended plot follows The Bride, an assassin portrayed by Uma Thurman. She embarks on an extremely bloody trail of vengeance after waking from a coma induced by a gunshot wound. The ultimate mission is to assassinate Bill, her former boss and the man responsible for her brush with death.
The part of Bill ultimately landed in the capable hands of David Carradine, but Tarantino initially had Warren Beaty in mind. In a past interview, Beaty explained why, regrettably, he had to decline the role.
“I believe it was my suggestion that David Carradine would be best for it,” Beatty said. “I didn’t want to leave my kids…He was shooting the movie in China, and I thought [Quentin was] going to be over there for a long time. And he said, no [it won’t be that long]. In fact, he was over there for exactly the time that I predicted. I would love to work with Quentin.”
Reflecting on Kill Bill on another occasion, Tarantino remembered how the plot had been slightly different when Beaty was earmarked. “It was really interesting reading Kill Bill again, that first draft because that’s the Warren Beatty version,” he told The Playlist. “He’s much more of a James Bond type of character. Like James Bond as [villain Ernst Stavro] Blofeld, basically. That guy never got portrayed.”
“I was a little worried that Warren Beatty might look faintly ridiculous in this,” he added, revealing early doubts about his initial concept.
Watch the trailer for Kill Bill Vol. 1 below.