First and foremost, let me jump in feet first by saying that Django Unchained is an incredible movie. I think it’s one of Tarantino’s best. Of course, the primary controversy surrounding the movie deals with the perceived liberal use of the most offensive word – typically referred to as the “N-word”. Was the word used liberally? Absolutely. Was it out of context? No. It’s two years before the Civil War in the deep South, where slavery was in full swing. Southern slave owners and proponents used the word almost exclusively to describe slaves – and freemen, for that matter. So, with that now in context, check out what happens when an interviewer is put on the spot by none other than Samuel L. Jackson himself when he attempts to ask Jackson about the controversy surrounding the use of the word in the movie. The interviewer’s discomfort is, in a word, epic. The magic begins at the 13:56 mark. PS: there’s a few f-bombs in there too.
The international trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained has been released. It’s mostly the same as the US trailer, with a few extra shots of difference, most notably, the inclusion of Samuel L. Jackson as a billed star in the film.
While the movie does look like it’s definitely going to be well crafted, I still can’t help but hold reservations on it. The James Brown soundtrack doesn’t work for me, but I understand it’s attempting a melding of the Spaghetti Western/Blaxploitation genres. What does work for me, is seeing Quentin Tarantino actually having a TRUE homage, with the final shot of the trailer, showing Jamie Foxx sitting with Franco Nero, who some may recognize as the original star of Sergio Corbucci’s Django. Even though that shot is included in the US trailer, I imagine it’ll play quite well with international crowds, where Sergio Corbucci’s name is more well-known. It would seem QT is continuing the long tradition of having a western revolving around a character named Django, even if he isn’t THE Django, from the original film. There are over 30 unofficial sequels to the original Django, as Italy has a long history of its filmmakers “borrowing” character and movie names to help a knockoff films chances at the box office. Tarantino seems to be falling right in line with this idea, only he is celebrating that character and tradition, rather than looking to make a quick buck off a name brand.
I always hold fast to the rule that you should never truly judge how good or bad a movie is until you see it, (see: Battleship), so I’m trying to stay positive with my feelings about Django Unchained. Maybe I’m just being overly negative, but Death Proof was really bad, and Inglorious Basterds was such a self-aggrandizing mess, it’s taken away the immediate optimism I used to have for Quentin Tarantino’s films. Regardless, like all of his films, I’ll end up seeing them no matter what, because for better or worse, nobody really makes movies like Tarantino. He has an undeniably unique voice, and is accomplished at doing what he sets out to do. [Ed. Note – Death Proof and Inglorious Basterds are both awesome.]
Christmas 2012, we’ll probably all get Django’d.
I think it can go without saying, I’m a Quentin Tarantino fan. Not only am I a fan of his films overall, but of the writing style, the way they’re shot, and way they pay homage to what came before them. Tarantino simply put, is my favorite film-maker. Every few years we are treated to something new from him. Now, it seems that the follow-up to his mega-hit Inglourious Basterds is around the corner, and it will be called Django Unchained.
Inspired by the 1966 spaghetti western Django. The film was considered one of the most violent in history up until that point so it seems an obvious choice for Tarantino. The original movie dealt with a gunslinger who enters a town at war. The KKK is feuding with a Mexican gang, and Django gets caught in the middle.
Taratino’s movie will take the western theme, but it will be earlier, post-civil war era. It will tell the story of a former slave named Django who is trained by a German Bounty Hunter, and tries to free his wife from an evil plantation owner.
In no real surprise, it seems that Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterd‘s Hans Landa) will play the German Bounty Hunter, though not yet official. In another real shocker, Tarantino staple Samuel L. Jackson appears set for some screen-time as well. Also rumored is that the star of the original film, Franco Nero (aka Gen. Ramon Esperanza in Die Hard 2), will be involved in some capacity, but it’s not yet known as whom. We reported a while back that Treat Williams has apparently turned down roles in both The Dark Knight Rises and this movie to do some TV cop show. Good call Treat.
Now, as far as the casting of Django himself – over the weekend there were rumors galore that Will Smith seems to be the front-runner and Tarantino’s choice for the title character. Smith however is a product. And he markets himself very carefully, so it’s unclear if he’ll accept a role this…gritty.
This is from The Hollywood Reporter:
Sources prepped for those meetings say Tarantino would like Smith to star in the film, the script for which has been making the rounds in recent days to wide acclaim. No official offer has been made to Smith, and any deal would of course be subject to working out financials, which might be difficult given Smith’s status as one of Hollywood’s few sure-thing stars.
Indeed, though Smith has been out of multiplexes since 2008’s Seven Pounds, he is still considered among the top two or three box-office draws worldwide.
Smith is being teed up for the title role of Django, a freed slave who seeks to reunite with his slave wife, a journey that will see him team with a German bounty hunter to take down an evil plantation owner.
Tarantino wrote the bounty hunter part with Waltz in mind, according to insiders. The German ends up training Django and helping him seek his wife.
Jackson would play the house slave to the bad guy, Monsieur Calvin Candie. The slave is an expert manipulator and will face off with Django.
Smith and his reps have received the screenplay, which could be a hot potato due to the themes of racism and the liberal use of the N-word. It’s unclear whether Smith has read the script yet. The actor manages his image very carefully, but the part is heroic and could be iconic. And let’s not forget that Denzel Washington won his two Oscars playing characters who used the N-word.
The movie is slated for a 2012 release, and while I think he would be good in it, weather or not
The Fresh Prince Will Smith joins the cast won’t affect my decision to see it. I can already tell you I will be in the theater opening night next year…