Footage from Quentin Tarantino’s Southern-set nod to spaghetti westerns, Django Unchained premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival – and reactions were overwhelmingly positive (to what was shown).
Django Unchained is still in the middle of principal photography, but new images from the film have already sprung up online – along with word that the teaser will premiere in front of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.
Tarantino’s latest creation is an amalgamation of Blaxploitation and Sergio Leone Western tropes, seeing how the plot of Django Unchained follows an ex-slave named Django (Jamix Foxx) who is shown the ropes of bounty hunting by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) – an eccentric foreigner who is perplexed by the ways of the pre-Civil War South. As Foxx recently told Empire, though, the empowerment angle of the story is only part of what attracted him to the project:
“When this movie’s done, there’s gonna be some hot button issues but, given my background, I think I’ll be able to get some points across. The one thing that stuck out to me in the script was that Django was married. Back then, to be married was taboo. This is a love story. He’s not trying to stop slavery. He’s not trying to do anything but find the love of his life – which is like trying to find a needle in a world of haystacks.”
The word on the Django teaser with Prometheus comes from Variety‘s Stuart Oldham, so chances are good the report is accurate. Judging by the Cannes reactions, the comparisons to Tarantino’s Inglourious Bastards will no doubt become more widespread, once that trailer has been released.
Until that happens, you can get another look at Foxx and Waltz in the film – alongside Leonardo DiCaprio as the foul plantation head who owns Django’s wife (Kerry Washington) and Franco Nero as a fellow ruthless resident of the Old South – in the Django Unchained screenshot/image gallery below (click any thumbnail for the full version):
Early word of mouth is that Django Unchained retains certain hallmarks of Leone’s classic work in the western genre – including the massive landscape shots and protagonists who are often just as ruthless as the film’s vile villains. However, Tarantino looks to leave his distinctive thumbprint on the genre by incorporating such elements as his trademark profanity-laced monologues and blood-splattering violence.
In other words: Django Unchained (like the rest of Tarantino’s catalogue) wears its influences on its sleeve, but feels like something different and unique. The colorful characters and costumes – as featured in early still frames – are more than proof enough of just that.
Django Unchained shoots up theaters around the U.S. on December 25th, 2012.