Comic-Con 2012: 'Django Unchained' Panel

Django Unchained at Comic-Con 2012

After taking moviegoers back to the 1940s for his World War II revenge film, Inglourious Bastards, Tarantino is back for another star-studded tale of revenge during another controversial period in history. Django Unchained, a spaghetti western, takes place in the deep south during slavery and follows the story of an ex-slave (Jamie Foxx) training with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) in order to rescue his wife.

Writer/director and proud geek Quentin Tarantino (QT) will be joined on stage by unannounced cast members (expect an impressive lineup) to chat about the film and showcase brand new, exclusive footage for the film.

If you're attending the convention, you can check out the panel yourself at 11:30 AM Pacific Time in Hall H on Saturday, July 14th. If not, keep it parked right here and for the latest Django Unchained movie news, brought to you LIVE by Screen Rant.

11:43AM:The 2012 Comic-Con Django Unchained panel is officially underway. Stars Jamie Foxx, Walton Goggins, Don Johnson, Christoph Waltz, and Kerry Washington are onstage.

11:44AM:Tarantino’s joined the crew onstage now. He’s rocking some sunglasses, leather jacket, and fedora.

11:46AM:Tarantino: I’ve always wanted to do a western, but I always figured it’d be in that surreal, Kabuki-style western (re: spaghetti western – as he described it). The initial idea came to him 13 years ago: in the pre-Civil War South, a former slave becomes a vengeance-seeking bounty hunter.

11:47AM:The surreal, horrible, historical reality of slavery in the U.S. is a perfect fit for the spaghetti western genre – as Tarantino put it.

11:49AM:Foxx described the script as “courageous and controversial.” As shooting began, it was like going to an All-Star game everyday, with the cast and material involved. Tarantino told Foxx early on that he was worried he wouldn’t be able to “get to that slave… how do you strip everything away and get to that slave?” Foxx says he had to “strip it down” to get inside the mind of Django, and leave his celebrity mindset behind.

11:51AM:QT: The whole movie’s about Django becoming a hero, becoming a cowboy. At the beginning of the film, though, he’s just an anonymous slave – the sixth in a seven-man chain of slaves (during the film’s opening scene).

11:52AM:Foxx: Being called a n***er when I was growing up, it helped me to grasp the nature of the script because I had “certain parallels” in my life to Django, growing up as a kid in the South.

11:54AM:QT said that Waltz’ character is kinda like the Yoda to Foxx’s Django. Waltz described it as a “different relationship… it’s formed in the course of fantastic adventures.”

11:55AM:Waltz: My character doesn’t care about other white men.

11:58AM:QT: One of the most fun, exciting things about making Django Unchained was getting to place the cliches of the spaghetti western (story, characters) in the antebellum South.

12:00PM:The idea of “tooth extraction” and that Waltz’ character “could hide in plain sight” under the guise of being a dentist, appealed to QT (while constructing the story).

12:02PM:We’re about to be treated to the Django Unchained sizzle reel that screened at Cannes 2012.

12:13PM:The sizzle reel included some additional footage not shown in previous trailers and clips. More twisted humor, a shootout scene involving Django and a snowman, and a first look at Don Johnson as a plantation owner who resembles Col. Sanders. Expect plenty of n-bombs and bloody violence in this film.

12:14PM:QT: Samuel J. Jackson’s character, Stephen, is basically Calvin Candie’s (Leo DiCaprio) father. He pretty much runs the Candyland plantation/brothel, along with Goggins’ character. Furthermore, Stephen is pretty far from being a sympathetic character, even though he’s been enslaved essentially his entire life.

12:16PM:SLJ is playing the “Jackson Rathbone” of the film. He’s constantly scheming, “whispering in the king’s ear,” controlling things behind the scenes, using a dignified facade as his cover.

12:18PM:Don Johnson talked about researching the history of how, following the Civil War, many ex-slaves migrated to the west, encountered various American Indian tribes. It ultimately informed his character, “Big Daddy”: a character who’s “funny and bad.” He jokingly said he “studied a lot of leghorn and foghorn” to come up with the character’s voice.

12:21PM:Washington had to be coached in the German language for the film, due to her character’s backstory. Her unusual name, Broomhilda, comes from her owner’s names, as was often the case with real-life slaves.

12:23PM:Washington: This film scared the s**t out of me. When the ball started rolling, I struggled to figure out how to step into “this brutal world” where her character exists in the film. Studying German and horseback riding for the role helped.

12:25PM:QT: Django Unchained is structured like a classic German fairy tale. That Django gets his freedom, but “goes back into the pit of hell” to rescue his wife, is something that I feel I haven’t really seen before.

12:28PM:Jonah Hill plays a member of “The Regulators,” a pre-KKK group that terrorized African-Americans in the pre-Civil War South. The scene involving his character is surprisingly humorous, and QT compared it to the scene in Reservoir Dogs where the team get their color names.

12:29PM:QT: Django and Broomhilda are the great-great-great grandparents of John Shaft.

12:31PM:First fan to ask a question showed up dressed in The Bride’s yellow jumpsuit. QT commented that she looked smokin’ hot. Much blushing/giggling from the fan ensued.

12:35PM:First fan question was about QT ‘s ability to write strong female characters. QT said there’s a tradition of strong “female avengers” in genre cinema, but in Django Unchained, Washington’s character is “the princess in the tower… she’s done everything she can to escape” but needs help to escape. Washington added that her character exists in a time where black women had to be strong, but that Broomhilda’s strength fits within the context of the time period in the film.

12:37PM:QT pointed Washington to watch films from the 1930s and 40s (such as The Flame of New Orleans) that dealt with the antebellum South, for research on her part in Django Unchained.

12:38PM:Washington: You have no idea how extensive QT’s knowledge of film and music is. Don Johnson followed that up with an anecdote about how QT remembered a movie that Johnson had forgotten he was even in.

12:42PM:The cinema and worldview of Sergio Corbucci is the guiding force for Django Unchained, according to QT. Corbucci’s films (as interpreted by QT) dealt with a horrifying, fascist version of the Old West, which QT felt he could portray best by setting the film in the slavery-era South.

12:43PM:Django Unchained and Kill Bill were described as the “biggest adventures” for QT, and he’s not sure exactly what his next project will be (though, probably not Kill Bill Vol. 3).

12:49PM:That’s it for the Django Unchained panel. Stay tuned for more Comic-Con 2012 coverage here at Screen Rant.

Django Unchained is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Walton Goggins, Jonah Hill, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, James Remar, Zoe Bell, M.C. Gainey, James Russo, Don Johnson and Franco Nero.

Django Unchained hits theaters Christmas Day, December 25, 2012.

Keep an eye on the Screen Rant Comic-Con 2012 page for all the convention news.

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