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15 Facts About Kill Bill Vol. 2

Even if you’ve seen the second half of Quentin Tarantino’s revenge epic, these little nuggets will give you a reason to give it another look.

1. Pulp Fiction spawned the idea.

Uma Thurman and Tarantino came up with the character of The Bride while working on the set of Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction. Tarantino mentioned he was interested in doing a revenge movie or a 1970s kung-fu movie, and Thurman envisioned a character left for dead on her wedding day like the scene that opens Kill Bill Vol. 2.

2. The volumes have distinct influences.

The Kill Bill saga was originally supposed to be a single four-hour epic before it was split into two films. Tarantino made the split by having the first film reflect “Eastern” cinematic influences like the kung fu genre, while the second film reflects “Western” influences such as the Spaghetti Western genre.

3. Warren Beatty was Tarantino’s first choice for Bill.

When Tarantino let the actor go because of creative differences, he cast David Carradine in the iconic role because Carradine previously appeared in Tarantino’s favorite childhood TV show, Kung Fu.

4. Samuel L. Jackson makes a sneaky cameo.

He briefly appears as Rufus, the wedding piano player. 

5. Kill Bill Vol. 2 was not as violent as you might think.

Only three people are killed onscreen in the entire second movie.

6. Pai Mei pulled double duty.

Actor Gordon Liu plays Pai Mei in Vol. 2, but he also appeared as Johnny Mo, the leader of the Crazy 88, in Kill Bill Vol. 1. Liu was cast in the Kill Bill saga because he previously appeared in a kung fu movie called The 36th Chamber of Shaolin that heavily influenced Tarantino while writing Kill Bill.

7. Tarantino originally wanted to dub his own voice for Pai Mei.

The voice would celebrate the poorly dubbed kung fu movies he loves.

8. Pai Mei appeared in previous kung fu films.

The Pai Mei character had shown up in many previous kung fu movies such as Executioners from Shaolin and Clan of the White Lotus (both starring Gordon Liu). The character and his trademark bushy eyebrows were based on a legendary real life kung fu master known as Bak Mei, which means “White Eyebrows” in Cantonese.

9. The Bride borrowed her finishing move from another film.

The Bride’s “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique” also appears in the Shaw Brothers’ films Executioners from Shaolin and Clan of the White Lotus, which were primary inspirations behind the Kill Bill saga.

10. There are subtle tributes to Charles Bronson and Elmore Leonard.

The poster on the wall of Budd’s trailer is for a movie called Mr. Majestyk, starring Charles Bronson and written by Elmore Leonard. Most of Tarantino’s movies contain numerous references to Bronson, while Tarantino adapted Leonard’s novel “Rum Punch” into his 1997 film, Jackie Brown.

11. Bill’s flute was Carradine’s idea.

Tarantino added the flute that Bill carries with him to the script after Carradine brought it with him to fight rehearsals during the movie’s pre-production. Carradine, who was also a musician, made the flute himself on the set of Kung Fu in the 1970s.

12. Michael Parks also wore two hats.

Parks portrays two separate characters in the Kill Bill saga. He plays Bill’s mentor Esteban Vihaio in Vol. 2 and also played Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in Vol. 1. Parks first played the McGraw character in the film From Dusk Till Dawn, which was directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by and starred Tarantino, and later also played McGraw in Planet Terror and Death Proof directed by Rodriguez and Tarantino respectively. 

13. Ricardo Montalban lost his part.

The part of Esteban was originally supposed to be played by Montalban. When Montalban couldn’t make the first table reading of the script, Tarantino had Parks stand in and liked his take so much that he gave him the role in the final film.

14. Robert Rodriguez gave Tarantino a deal on the score.

Fellow director and Tarantino’s best friend Rodriguez wrote the score for Kill Bill Vol. 2 for free and began writing the music before any of the movie was shot. Rodriguez’s band Chingon also performs the song “Malagueña Salerosa” over the closing credits.

15. Of course there’s a movie reference in the climactic scene.

The Western playing on the TV when The Bride confronts Bill is called The Golden Stallion, starring Roy Rogers.

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4 Fascinating Facts About John Wayne
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Fox Photos, Getty Images

Most people know John Wayne, who would have been 111 years old today, for his cowboy persona. But there was much more to the Duke than that famous swagger. Here are a few facts about Duke that might surprise you.

1. A BODY SURFING ACCIDENT CHANGED HIS CAREER. 

John Wayne, surfer? Yep—and if he hadn’t spent a lot of time doing it, he may never have become the legend he did. Like many USC students, Wayne (then known as Marion Morrison) spent a good deal of his extracurricular time in the ocean. After he sustained a serious shoulder injury while bodysurfing, Morrison lost his place on the football team. He also lost the football scholarship that had landed him a spot at USC in the first place. Unable to pay his fraternity for room and board, Morrison quit school and, with the help of his former football coach, found a job as the prop guy at Fox Studios in 1927. It didn’t take long for someone to realize that Morrison belonged in front of a camera; he had his first leading role in The Big Trail in 1930.

2. HE TOOK HIS NICKNAME FROM HIS BELOVED FAMILY POOCH. 

Marion Morrison had never been fond of his feminine-sounding name. He was often given a hard time about it growing up, so to combat that, he gave himself a nickname: Duke. It was his dog’s name. Morrison was so fond of his family’s Airedale Terrier when he was younger that the family took to calling the dog “Big Duke” and Marion “Little Duke,” which he quite liked. But when he was starting his Hollywood career, movie execs decided that “Duke Morrison” sounded like a stuntman, not a leading man. The head of Fox Studios was a fan of Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne, so Morrison’s new surname was quickly settled. After testing out various first names for compatibility, the group decided that “John” had a nice symmetry to it, and so John Wayne was born. Still, the man himself always preferred his original nickname. “The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me,” he once said. “I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne.”

3. HE WAS A CHESS FANATIC. 

Anyone who knew John Wayne personally knew what an avid chess player he was. He often brought a miniature board with him so he could play between scenes on set.

When Wayne accompanied his third wife, Pilar Pallete, while she played in amateur tennis tournaments, officials would stock a trailer with booze and a chess set for him. The star would hang a sign outside of the trailer that said, “Do you want to play chess with John Wayne?” and then happily spend the day drinking and trouncing his fans—for Wayne wasn’t just a fan of chess, he was good at chess. It’s said that Jimmy Grant, Wayne’s favorite screenwriter, played chess with the Duke for more than 20 years without ever winning a single match.

Other famous chess partners included Marlene Dietrich, Rock Hudson, and Robert Mitchum. During their match, Mitchum reportedly caught him cheating. Wayne's reply: "I was wondering when you were going to say something. Set 'em up, we'll play again."

4. HE COINED THE TERM "THE BIG C."

If you say you know someone battling “The Big C” these days, everyone immediately knows what you’re referring to. But no one called it that before Wayne came up with the term, evidently trying to make it less scary. Worried that Hollywood would stop hiring him if they knew how sick he was with lung cancer in the early 1960s, Wayne called a press conference in his living room shortly after an operation that removed a rib and half of one lung. “They told me to withhold my cancer operation from the public because it would hurt my image,” he told reporters. “Isn’t there a good image in John Wayne beating cancer? Sure, I licked the Big C.”

Wayne's daughter, Aissa Wayne, later said that the 1964 press conference was the one and only time she heard her father call it “cancer,” even when he developed cancer again, this time in his stomach, 15 years later. Sadly, Wayne lost his second battle with the Big C and died on June 11, 1979 at the age of 72.

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Move Over, Star Wars Land: A Star Trek World May Be Coming to Universal Studios
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As Disney gears up for the 2019 openings of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at both its Florida and California amusement parks, there may be some sci-fi-themed competition on the horizon. According to Disney and More, there’s a rumor out there that Universal is planning a fourth Orlando theme park, which will include a land dedicated to all things Star Trek.

The blog also states that there have been rumblings that a Star Trek stage show at Universal would take the place of the now-defunct Terminator 2 3D show, but that’s just one option, with a Bourne Identity attraction being the other. Instead, the potential Star Trek show could be expanded to a whole area of the rumored fourth park, with a focus on a recreation of a sci-fi city, according to the site.

This rumored park would be the most high-profile Trek attraction since Las Vegas's Star Trek: The Experience (as seen in the main image). Housed at the Las Vegas Hilton from 1998 to 2008, Star Trek: The Experience included a restaurant based on Quark's bar from Deep Space Nine and the popular Borg Invasion 4D, which was an attraction that combined motion platforms, live actors, and a short 3D film to simulate a Borg takeover.

Any potential Star Trek land would be much further off than Galaxy's Edge's fall 2019 debut in Orlando. But with two new Trek movies on the horizon, and Star Trek: Discovery returning to CBS All Access for a second season in 2018, the venerable sci-fi franchise might just be able to ride a wave of momentum to become real competition for Star Wars—if not at the box office, then at least as a theme park.

[h/t Screen Rant]

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