Quentin Tarantino Based Kill Bill On Iconic James Bond Villain

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

When it comes to storytelling on film, famed auteur Quentin Tarantino is often considered a master. Over the course of his last nine films (10 if you count Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2 as two movies, which he doesn’t), Tarantino has created worlds that entice, thrill, and captivate, and characters that resonate deeply with the audience. To construct these stories, Tarantino has been known to draw from his own cinematic inspirations, such as the James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld for Bill in the Kill Bill series.

Bill Was Initially Based On Ernst Stavro Blofeld

According to Far Out, Tarantino initially envisioned Warren Beatty for the role of Bill in Kill Bill. In fact, the Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood director wrote the part for the Bonnie and Clyde actor, envisioning Bill as a villainous James Bond, similar to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a villain from the 007 spy series. Unfortunately, Beatty had to decline the part and Bill got rewritten to the version we see on screen.

Warren Beatty Was First Eyed To Play Bill

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Beatty himself confirmed in a past interview the reason why he declined working with Tarantino in Kill Bill, stating, “I believe it was my suggestion that David Carradine would be best for it. I didn’t want to leave my kids.” The Reds actor explained that the action flick would be filmed in China and he expected production to take a long time, much longer than he wanted to be away from home.

Tarantino, in reflecting on the early stages of Kill Bill, admitted that the original conception had Beatty playing a character more akin to a James Bond villain. In his words, “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.”

Bruce Willis Was Even Considered For The Part

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This revelation raises questions about how Beatty’s interpretation might have shaped the character and the overall tone of the film. Tarantino himself expressed early reservations about Beatty’s fit for the role, acknowledging concerns that the seasoned actor might appear “faintly ridiculous” in the context of Kill Bill’s unique universe.

After Beatty turned down the part, Tarantino next considered Bruce Willis for the role before making the decision to cast David Carradine. Rewriting the script for Carradine ultimately transformed Bill into a character with a distinct flavor, different from the traditional Bond villain archetype. Carradine’s portrayal added depth and nuance to the character, making him an integral part of Kill Bill’s monumental success.

Kill Bill Remains One Of Tarantino’s Greatest Works

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Kill Bill stands as a testament to Tarantino’s ability to weave diverse influences into a cohesive and original narrative. The film, released in 2003, became a milestone in martial arts cinema, blending elements of grindhouse, samurai cinema, and spaghetti Westerns. Uma Thurman’s unforgettable performance as The Bride, seeking revenge against Bill and his deadly assassins is a thrilling tale that still resonated with audiences worldwide.

Quentin Tarantino Is Working On His Final Film

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Now, 20 years after Kill Bill was released in theaters, Quentin Tarantino is about to release his final movie: The Movie Critic. As fans grapple with the bittersweetness of facing the film auteur’s swan song, one thing is certain: Tarantino’s legacy will live on as his movies continue to captivate film enthusiasts for years to come.