Zoë Bell is a New Zealand actor and stunt performer best known for her collaborations with Quentin Tarantino. She got her start doing stunts on Xena: Warrior Princess, but then doubled for Uma Thurman on Kill Bill, and from there on, she collaborated regularly with Tarantino, culminating in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, where she was the stunt coordinator and starred as Janet, the woman who bans Cliff Booth from set after he fights with Bruce Lee in the parking lot. Most recently, Bell appeared in camp-horror instant classic Malignant, and now she is taking the next step and becoming a director.
Back in 2020, when the pandemic was still new, Bell put together the “Boss Bitch Fight Challenge”, which features a number of stunt women like Kimberly Murphy, Amy Johnston, and Tamiko Brownlee, and actresses such as Juliette Lewis, Lucy Lawless, Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Kaitlin Olson, Rosario Dawson, and Once Upon a Time breakout Julia Butters, “fighting” each other from their various lockdown locations:
The script comes from Mamrie Hart and Kirsten Smith, the latter of whom co-wrote 10 Things I Hate About You. Kirsten Smith has been in the business for over 20 years and has many credits to her name—including Legally Blonde and The House Bunny—and I don’t want to diminish any of her accomplishments, but if you co-write 10 Things I Hate About You and literally never do ANYTHING else with your life, you’ve still won. Flawless record, nothing else matters.
Who knows what a feature film version of this will look like, but it will probably be some kind of female ensemble action flick. I just hope it fares better than the recent girl group action movies, like Elizabeth Banks’s Charlie’s Angels reboot and Jessica Chastain’s much-touted lady spy movie, The 355, which is, to put it politely, a goddamned mess. I’ve always liked Bell’s work behind and in front of the camera, and I’m excited to see what she can do as a director. I mean, she can’t do any worse than The 355.