Two months ago, Franco Nero – perhaps best known in America for his role as General Esperanza in Die Hard 2 (Yippi-kay-yay, Mr. Falcon!) – announced that he’d been cast in a new western film to be written/directed by Quentin Tarantino, co-starring Academy-Award-winning Christopher Waltz.
Now, according to the WME, Quentin Tarantino’s agency, Tarantino has officially turned in his script for Django Unchained to the Weinstein company. Agenttrainee also tweeted a photograph of the cover of Unchained, more than a little bit reminiscent of Tarantino’s famously hand-written Inglourious Basterds screenplay cover.
For those not previously aware, Django is an incredibly influential 1966 spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Corbucci and starring Franco Nero in the titular role. Django‘s fingerprints have been felt on many films and TV shows since its release nearly fifty years ago, including Star Wars (Jango Fett), Trigun, Sukiyaki Western Django (directed by Takashi Miike, co-starring Quentin Tarantino), and even more recently in the animated film Rango.
There are only two official Django movies that starred Franco Nero, the first, and then Django Strikes Again (1987), but there are other “unofficial” sequels as well. It’s currently unclear if Django Unchained will be a a direct sequel or something else entirely.
Check out the the tweeted picture of Tarantino’s screenplay cover below (click to enlarge):
Check out a scan of the cover, courtesy of The Quentin Tarantino Archives, below (click to enlarge):
And check out the trailer for the original (ridiculously dubbed) Django below:
According to a source via Indiewire blog Shadow and Act – though the validity of the source has already been called into question – the plot of Django Unchained is as follows:
“Django is a freed slave, who, under the tutelage of a German bounty hunter (played by Christopher Waltz the evil Nazi officer in Inglorious Basterds) becomes a bad-ass bounty hunter himself, and after assisting Waltz in taking down some bad guys for profit, is helped by Waltz in tracking down his slave wife and liberating her from an evil plantation owner. And that doesn’t even half begin to cover it! This film deals with racism as I’ve rarely seen it handled in a Hollywood film. While it’s 100 percent pure popcorn and revenge flick, it is pure genius in the way it takes on the evil slave owning south. Think of what he did with the Nazis in Inglorious and you’ll get a sense of what he’s doing with slave owners and slave overseers in this one.”
Whether true or not, it certainly seems plausible. The word “unchained” denotes that the lead character – in this case, Django – has been freed. If this indeed turns out to be the real deal, this would make Django Unchained a sort of reboot of the Django series, or maybe even just a thematic follow-up. If Franco Nero appears in the film, as he claimed he would, it’ll likely be as someone other than Django. The summary also sounds quite a bit like Quentin Tarantino’s previous outing, Inglourious Basterds, but instead of various Jewish persons (and especially the Basterds) wreaking vengeance upon the Nazis and Hitler, we’ll be seeing the ex-slave Django wreaking vengeance upon various slave owners.
Which, if I’m being honest, sound pretty badass to me.
But what do you think? Would you be as interested as I am in seeing a black Western revenge film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino? Drop us a line in the comments, and keep your eye on the main page for more Django Unchained news.
Follow me on twitter @benandrewmoore.
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