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How Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman came up with 'Kill Bill'


Throughout Quentin Tarantino’s illustrious filmmaking career he has ripped, borrowed and sought inspiration from other movies and directors around the world, from Sergio Leone to Takashi Miike. Whilst Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and, in fact, each of his other films rely on such a pastiche, there is no bigger movie appropriator than 2003s Kill Bill: Vol. 1 starring Uma Thurman. 

Though Quentin Tarantino has long insisted that he will only make ten films before retiring, the iconic filmmaker has recently announced the news of Kill Bill 3 after the release of his mysterious comedy spaghetti western. In conversation with Joe Rogan in early 2021, Tarantino admitted that he would be on board for one final ride with the Bride, noting: “I think it’s just revisiting the characters twenty years later and just imagining the Bride and her daughter, Bebe, having 20 years of peace, and then that peace is shattered”. 

Continuing, he added: “And now The Bride and Bebe are on the run and just the idea of being able to cast Uma [Thurman] and cast her daughter Maya [Hawke] in the thing would be fucking exciting”. Such has seemingly been confirmed more recently by Quentin Tarantino at the Rome Film Festival who responded to a question about the possibility of Kill Bill 3 with “Why not?”. 

The near deranged energy of Kill Bill: Volume 1, carries the film like a sugar-rush, there’s no time for a proper, complicated story, only blood, guts and decapitation. Famously starring Uma Thurman as the Bride, the story follows her campaign of revenge against the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and her sinister former boss, Bill. 

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A lusciously gory film inspired by classic Japanese samurai films such as Lady Snowblood, as well as the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. Speaking about how they originally devised the plan for the first film, Quentin Tarantino noted in a behind the scenes interview: “I came up with the idea of doing a revenge movie, a cool exploitation kind of thing where she [Uma Thurman] would play an assassin, but not just any assassin, one of the deadliest women in the world”.

Uma Thurman then explains, “What seemed like the beginning of the movie to me is, we were out with people from Pulp Fiction, one night ten years ago,” before Tarantino interjects, “I go, Uma, I’ve got the next movie for us, it’s called Kill Bill”.

The actor further elaborates, stating: “He’s telling me about genre cinema with all the great power and enthusiasm and detail that his cinephile mind can produce which is pretty extraordinary and I started telling him about this character I wanted to play and the name I wanted to call the character”. 

Taking shape throughout the production of Pulp Fiction, Thurman added, “We kept going back and forth and spun this idea together of this assassin who tries to leave the business and get married”.

Having a crucial part in the final form of the film itself, Tarantino concluded by stating that Thurman asked him, “‘Quentin, what if the first time we see the bride she’s beaten up, blood all over her face but she’s wearing a bridal gown?’ That was where the Bride was born”.

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