Quentin Tarantino Reveals Bruce Willis Almost Played Bill In Kill Bill


David Carradine was an excellent Bill in Quentin Tarantino’s two Kill Bill movies. The iconic star of Kung Fu got a well-deserved late-career revival after his performance as the understated, intelligent and lethal leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. But, in a new interview with the Reel Blend podcast, Tarantino has revealed that there were at least two other major actors under consideration for the part – and Carradine wasn’t even his first choice.

“I wrote [the character of] Bill for Warren Beatty and it ended up not working out. And then I cast David Carradine, and kind of rewrote it for David Carradine. Bruce [Willis] would have been my third choice… When I read the original version of Kill Bill, it kind of cracks me up now, because it’s the Warren Beatty version.”

Of course, either Warren Beatty or Bruce Willis would have made for a very different movie. One of the aspects that made Carradine’s Bill feel so dangerous was that you could sense his martial arts mastery without him ever breaking into a full fight scene. But it sounds like the alternate Bills would have been quite different, according to QT:

“When I look at that original version, you know, Bill was a little bit more of an evil James Bond type. Okay? Rather than the Bondian villain, he was more like an evil bond. And he kind of had this, he had a Warren Beatty kind of quality about him. And frankly, to tell you the truth, I probably wouldn’t have to had rewritten it that much if I had cast Bruce in it. Bruce could have actually played that evil James Bond kind of character and I would have just leaned into his personality maybe just a little bit more. A little less Cristal. A little bit more Coors, all right. A little less champagne, a little more beer.”

There’ve been rumors over the years that Tarantino may revisit Kill Bill one day. Back in July, for instance, he mentioned in an interview that he’d discussed Kill Bill Vol. 3 with Uma Thurman, saying:

“Me and Uma have talked about it recently, frankly, to tell you the truth. I have thought about it a little further. 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.”

We even have a decent idea of what a new Kill Bill could be about. Kill Bill Vol. 1 opens with the Bride taking down Vivica A. Fox’s Vernita Green in a bloody kitchen showdown. Green’s daughter Nikki watches on in shock, with the Bride saying: “If you’re salty about this in 10 years, come find me and we’ll work it out.” It’s been a little longer than ten years since Kill Bill hit cinemas, but Tarantino appears to have it all worked out.

Back in 2004, he said:

“I need at least fifteen years before I do this again.I’ve already got the whole mythology: Sofie Fatale will get all of Bill’s money. She’ll raise Nikki, who’ll take on The Bride. Nikki deserves her revenge every bit as much as The Bride deserved hers. I might even shoot a couple of scenes for it now so I can get the actresses while they’re this age.”

Tarantino’s next film might be his much-hyped (and unexpected) take on Star Trek, but let’s hope after that he’s got time for Kill The Bride.