When word first leaked out that Quentin Tarantino's next film is going to be a western revenge throwback (titled Django Unchained) following a slave-turned-bounty hunter on a crusade to liberate his wife from a remorseless plantation owner in the pre-Civil War South, it was immediately apparent just what a lightning rod for controversy the Pulp Fiction filmmaker's latest piece of pastiche cinema will be.
Django himself (Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx) discussed just that in a recent interview, describing his onscreen alter ego as a mashup between Shaft (Richard Roundtree) and the Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood). Considering the genres those two characters are defined by - blaxploitation and spaghetti western, two of Tarantino's favorites - that sounds just about right.
Joining Foxx in Django Unchained is fellow Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz as a German bounty hunter (not his Inglourious Bastards character, mind you) who partners up with Django - and Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie, the owner of Candieland: a plantation where female slaves are whored out and male slaves are pitted against one another in death matches, for the amusement of paying patrons. Nothing potentially volatile about THAT plot setup, right?
As Foxx told Entertainment Weekly, "There’s a beautiful way [Tarantino] found for the characters to talk to each other [in 'Django Unchained']. It’s mindblowing. You’ve never heard it this way. You’ve seen movies deal with slavery — or westerns that never dealt with slavery – do it the safe way. This way is like … wow.”
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For our money, Foxx and Waltz both look good as an unexpected cowboy buddy duo (and - gasp! - non-clean shaven ones to boot) in these first Django Unchained images. Similarly, DiCaprio as Mr. Candie seems to be channelling his Gangs of New York co-star Daniel Day Lewis as Bill "The Butcher" Cutting in the above still frame. Color us all the more psyched to see what goes down when these characters collide in the actual movie - which was previously described as "100 percent pure popcorn and revenge flick" by an insider who read Tarantino's screenplay.
Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Kurt Russell, Don Johnson, Gerald McRaney, Sacha Baron Cohen and RZA. With an eclectic, talented cast like that working from a Tarantino-penned script, there's all the more reason to think this flick could be pretty crazy (in a good way).
Look for Django Unchained to storm theaters in the U.S. on December 25th, 2012.
Source: Entertainment Weekly