Quite the eclectic acting crew has been signed on for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, which marks the filmmaker's most recent love letter to one of his favorite breeds of cinema: the spaghetti western.
The newest addition to the Django cast appears to be the Oscar-nominated (and controversial) comedic actor behind such characters as Borat and Ali G: Sacha Baron Cohen.
Tarantino will be the latest well-respected auteur to work alongside Cohen, who previously collaborated with Tim Burton on the 2007 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street musical adaptation - and Martin Scorsese, on this month's 3D popular literature adaptation, Hugo.
Variety says that Cohen is in final negotiations to co-star in Django Unchained as Scotty, a gambler who purchases the eponymous ex-slave's wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), and takes her on as "a female companion." Tarantino was reportedly "very particular" about what actor would be brought on to play the small-but-pivotal part - and, eventually, decided that Cohen was the man for the job (make of that what you will).
Django Unchained takes place in the slavery-era U.S. South; it will star the likes of Oscar-winners Jamie Foxx and Inglourious Basterds' Christoph Waltz as (respectively) Django and the German bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz.
[WARNING: MILD PLOT SPOILERS AHEAD]
That odd couple joins forces and sets out to rescue Broomhilda, who eventually finds herself a resident of Candyland: a twisted country club/brothel where male slaves are pitted against one another in death matches-as-entertainment, run by the cruel Ace Woody (Kurt Russell) - and female slaves are forced to become prostitutes for paying Caucasian customers.
Candyland is headed by one Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is aided by his cunning house slave, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson). The latter eventually faces off against Django, when the ex-slave-turned-bounty-hunter comes looking to rescue his beloved wife... by any (violent) means necessary.
Django Unchained is said to be a pulpy revenge tale that both plays fast and loose with historical facts and does for U.S. slave owners what Basterds did for Nazis. Needless to say, non-Tarantino fans need not apply here.
However, those who do go and check out Django Unchained will be treated to a movie that features Tarantino's recognizable artistic fingerprint - including, heavy amounts of sharp dialogue, bits of brutal violence, and stylistic old-school film homages galore. For the man's fans and dedicated cinephiles alike, this is a must-see.
Principal photography on Django Unchained is scheduled to get underway by January 2012. The film is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. near that year's end, on December 25th.