Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” Split Into Two Parts

Looks like Quentin Tarantino fans will have to visit theaters twice to see his upcoming thriller Kill Bill.

Miramax plans to release the three-hour plus pic–Tarantino‘s first release since his 1997 drama Jackie Brown–in two parts. While the unusual move will have the first installment bow in theaters on its original Oct. 10 release date, no date has yet been set for the sequel.

In Kill Bill, an assassin called the Bride (Uma Thurman) is shot by her employer, Bill (David Carradine) at her wedding. She survives, and, after being in a coma for five years, wakes up and seeks revenge on Bill and his deadly squad of killers.

Variety reported Tuesday a source close to the production said the idea of splitting the Kill Bill into two films started out as a joke, but the concept became more interesting to Miramax co-chief Harvey Weinstein and Tarantino as the editing process began.

The two-part plan seems like an ideal compromise between Tarantino and Weinstein, who has earned a reputation for urging filmmakers to cut their pictures’ running times.

The release of Miramax’s 2002 epic Gangs of New York, for example, was pushed from December 2001 to July 2002 after Weinstein screened a 3-hour, 40-minute version for Miramax executives. According to the New York Times, Weinstein wanted the film cut down, iand it was; Gangs was eventually trimmed to 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Two films, however, means Miramax will have double up its marketing budget and perhaps renegotiate the original contracts of stars Thurman, Carradine, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen, who all signed one-picture deals. Kill Bill, which was shot in 155 days in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Mexico and Beijing, already has a $55 million production price tag, reports Variety.

Furthermore, finding a release date for Kill Bill, Part 2 during the busy end of the year period could prove difficult, forcing Miramax to release the second installment early in 2004 and lessening its Oscar chances.

The unusual release scheme, however, is certain to make headlines, which could build buzz around the two films.