Sony Pictures and The Weinstein Company are getting the buzz going early for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, in order to counter (or, rather, get the jump on) all the controversy bound to encircle the Kill Bill filmmaker’s slavery revenge fantasy/history tale.

A Django Unchained teaser trailer is currently showing in U.S. theaters, while additional footage premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival – even though Tarantino still has over a month of principal photography left to complete (at the time of writing this). More of that Cannes material is featured in the new international trailer, which includes bloody splatter and dark humor deemed too shocking for its domestic counterpart.

This new Django Unchained footage gels with both the Cannes reactions and early reviews of Tarantino’s script, where many people expressed surprise at the sheer oddity of the humor (see: Christoph Waltz’ tooth carriage). Such quirky scenes are smoothly meshed together with more sadistic, nervous-chuckle inducing moments, like when plantation head Calvin Candie (an animated Leonardo DiCaprio) giggles with delight as a pair of “mandingo” fighters wrestle for his entertainment.

Needless to say: this looks to be a Tarantino creation, in every meaning of the term.

Jamie Foxx as 'Django Unchained'

Django Unchained borrows certain tropes from the cinema of Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars). This includes an unusual friendship struck between two men divided by race and class, in Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) and Django (Jamie Foxx) – reminiscent of that featured in A Fistful of Dynamite (well, minus one actor going brown-face, that is). In typical Tarantino style, such archetypes are bent so much they end up becoming almost unrecognizable. The same goes for the villainous players, including Samuel L. Jackson as Candie’s loyal house servant.

Between those aspects and the gorgeous scenery glimpsed in Django Unchained footage to date – along with the stylized production design, courtesy of the late J. Michael Riva – there’s good reason for Tarantino fans to be excited for Django Unchained. Non-Tarantino converts, however, are probably going to be scratching their heads once again, wondering what all the fuss is about.

Django Unchained opens in U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2012.

Source: Sony Pictures