‘Kill Bill’ is turning 20 this year, and Tarantino fans are in for a treat

uma thurman kill bill
Image via Miramax

Today, Lionsgate announced that it has partnered with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino to obtain distribution rights to his two Kill Bill films in time for the bloody saga’s 20th anniversary, as well as the underappreciated crime caper Jackie Brown.

Per Deadline, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said on a post-earnings call that the company has “grown what is now Hollywood’s largest portfolio of Tarantino films to include Inglourious BasterdsDjango Unchained, The Hateful Eight, and Death Proof, in addition to the movies we just picked up.”

Since Lionsgate began its Tarantino collection by nabbing distribution rights for Reservoir Dogs, only Pulp Fiction and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood remain as outliers among films directed by the blood-squib maestro. Paramount just put out a 4K version of Pulp Fiction, and Universal currently holds rights to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, also available in 4K.

The nerds out there will note that, technically, there’s another Tarantino-directed movie unaccounted for: the 90-minute version of Death Proof that’s only available as part of Grindhouse, the 2007 double-bill Tarantino shared with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror. That trashy gem — complete with fake movie trailers at intermission — was released twice on Blu-ray, once in 2010 by Vivendi Visual Entertainment and again in 2018 by Cinedigm. It’s unclear who holds the rights to Grindhouse now.

According to Feltheimer, the studio and Tarantino will release a new, remastered 4K edition of Kill Bill later this year to celebrate the anniversary. He offered no details about what the release will entail or which special features will be included. Fans can always keep their fingers crossed for the infamous Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair cut that screened at Cannes in 2004 and again at Tarantino’s own New Beverly Cinema in 2021, which joins both volumes of the story into one epic. We seriously doubt Tarantino will have the time or inclination to secretly shoot the much-anticipated Kill Bill Vol. 3 in time for the anniversary release, especially since he’s going into production this year on what he claims is his final film, The Movie Critic.

Presumably, Lionsgate will later release a new 4K version of Jackie Brown, but the timeline is unclear since the company owns the rights to many other Tarantino films that are not yet available in 4K, including Death Proof, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight, which was shot in 65mm and would look gorgeous on a nice setup. Perhaps Lionsgate will move through Tarantino’s body of work chronologically after putting out Kill Bill for the anniversary. Since Jackie Brown released before Kill Bill, that would put it on deck for the 4K treatment.

Although many people don’t care about new film scans and physical media, remember that a new 4K edition has a good chance of ending up at various revival theaters and festivals throughout the country. Plus, every time guys like Francis Ford Coppola rescan their films, they seem to also release an entirely new cut that fixes longstanding issues they’ve had with the movie. Don’t count on that from Tarantino — The Whole Bloody Affair is the closest we’ll ever get to a director’s cut from him, and it would be really nice, Lionsgate, if some of us could take that one home.

About the author

Matt Wayt

Matt Wayt

Matt lives in Hollywood and enjoys writing about art and the business that tries to kill it. He loves Tsukamoto and Roger Rabbit, and thinks snap zooms in CG shots are tacky.