There may be a third installment of Kill Bill on the way, according to Quentin Tarantino. The director told podcast host Josh Horowitz that he has spoken to Uma Thurman about the possibility of reprising her role in the franchise.
On Friday, Tarantino's ninth film as a writer-director, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, hits theaters. The auteur has long said that he would finish his run with ten original films, but on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he hinted that his last might revisit his own early work.
During the interview, Tarantino told Horowitz that he had spoken to Thurman about a possible Kill Bill Vol. 3 as recently as a week before. The first two parts of the martial arts revenge series were filmed back to back in the early 2000s, with Thurman starring as The Bride. As harrowing as that experience was for her, Thurman is apparently open to doing it all over again.
"Me and Uma have talked about it recently, frankly, to tell you the truth. I have thought about it a little further," said Tarantino. "We were talking about it literally last week. If any of my movies were going to spring from my other movies, it would be a third Kill Bill."
There are a lot of ways in which this makes sense to Tarantino fans, and to culture critics in general. The Kill Bill movies built a rich and fascinating fictional world, and there is more than enough room to explore another film there, this time without the villainous Bill looming over it.
In a more meta-narrative sense, it would also be a triumph for both Tarantino and Thurman to reclaim Kill Bill following last year's Me Too Movement. In an explosive interview with The New York Times, Thurman joined the scores of women accusing producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Thurman worked with Weinstein on several projects, but on Kill Bill he allegedly took things to a terrifying extreme.
In Kill Bill Vol. 2, Thurman did her own stunts for the scene where she drives her Karmann Ghia down a winding dirt road at the end. The actress said she had doubts about her own abilities for the scene, but producers, stunt coordinators and Tarantino himself insisted.
"But that was a deathbox that I was in," Thurman said of the car. "The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road. The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me. I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again.'"
Thurman crashed the car in spite of the assurances she received. To some, it seemed possible that a behind-the-scenes conspiracy was in place to make the stunt dangerous -- or even fatal for the actress.
Weinstein denied these allegations, and even threatened legal action against Thurman. At the same time, he faced a deluge of other allegations, many of which are still being worked out in court. In the meantime, Tarantino cut all ties with Weinstein and denounced him, so returning to his beloved early work without the specter of Weinstein would be a big deal.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hits theaters everywhere on Friday, July 26.