Apocalypse Now: Redux Made Quentin Tarantino Reconsider An Entire Chapter Of Kill Bill

It's hard to think of now after many huge, epic movies from Quentin Tarantino, but "Kill Bill" was a wild swing for the writer-director at that time in his career. He was known mostly as the guy who could write great dialogue, and most of his work up until "Kill Bill" was more about people sitting down and talking with each other and less about visual spectacle. 

But Tarantino wanted to put his mark on all of his favorite sub-genres and decided to put revenge movies, kung fu movies, Westerns, and grindhouse into a blender, and out came "Kill Bill." This project went through a lot of changes before he rolled film. Famously, Warren Beatty was set to play Bill, and when he fell out they scrambled and got David Carradine in, who is a much different screen presence than the charismatic playboy originally set to fill those boots. 

Tarantino reworked the script to fit Carradine's talents and some stuff was lost, but the biggest thing that never made it from script to screen was a whole chapter devoted to Gogo Yubari's (Chiaki Kuriyama) revenge-seeking sister, Yuki, tracking down The Bride in Los Angeles shortly after the confrontation with Vernita Green. According to Tarantino, the reason he made that preemptive cut was because of "Apocalypse Now: Redux." 

Bad pacing ... the horror ... the horror...

For cinephiles, the extra footage from "Apocalypse Now" took on a bit of a mythic quality, so when Francis Ford Coppola assembled the "Redux" cut and reintegrated the French Plantation sequence that had been cut from the theatrical edit, people were insanely curious about it. It's a sequence that kind of stops the story cold for a bit as our crew pauses on their quest to find Marlon Brando's renegade Colonel Kurtz. This sequence is lush and beautifully shot and features some fantastic performances, but pacing-wise it kills the film's momentum. There's a reason it was cut out of the theatrical release.

Tarantino cites this as the main instigator for his cutting the "Yuki's Revenge" chapter out of "Kill Bill," which was supposed to be this epic gun battle between The Bride and Yuki. He still stands by the writing and would love to adapt this sequence, possibly as an anime in much the same way we get Lucy Liu's O-Ren Ishii backstory in "Kill Bill," but after viewing "Apocalypse Now: Redux," he knew the chapter would completely derail the story's pacing.

"I'm watching and I go, 'I'm dealing with a three and a half-hour movie. Yuki's revenge is going to be the first to go. I'm going to kill myself shooting it, it's going to cost $1 million and it's going to be the first thing to go, so I can't do it.'"

So now "Yuki's Revenge" remains a cinephile curiosity, in much the same way the French Plantation scene in "Apocalypse Now" was before it. Perhaps some day Tarantino will revisit this chapter, especially if he ever follows through on his hints about doing a "Kill Bill Vol. 3." But for now, it is a fascinating "what if."