Who's Going To Star In Quentin Tarantino's Black Western?

by Sergio
April 30, 2011 1:53 AM
43 Comments
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Admittedly, I'm not the greatest fan of Quentin Tarantino's work. He definitely knows how to put a film together, but I've always found him self-indulgent, too much in love with his own dialogue, and all his films have been nothing but pastiches, made entirely up of scenes from other movies. Everything in his movies is blatantly stolen from other films going back to even the 1940's. And since he knows that his main audience basically only knows movies from Star Wars on, his films look totally original to them.

That being said, I, however, confess that I'm dying to see his new western film which will begin shooting sometime this year Django Unchained. Now first of all Django was a series of violent Italian made "spaghetti" westerns made during the 1960's and 1970's. Franco Nero played the lead in the first few Django pictures, but afterward, the role was assumed by various actors. (How do I know that? Because I've seen most of them. I've been seeing movies even before Star Wars believe it or not.)

This time, Tarantino takes the Django character in a whole different direction. In his film, according to one source who has read the script, "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."

Now I don't know about you, but that's one movie I'm standing in line to see RIGHT NOW! Though, of course, I wish it was a black director making this film, but I'll take it regardless of who makes it.

Waltz and Nero himself are already attached to the film. However the one big question is who's going to play Django?

No doubt casting is going on right now. But you would need a tough masculine black actor to play that role, and since Jim Brown is now in his 70's, that pretty much narrows down the choices considerably. One thing for sure is that, neither Tyler Perry or Terrance Howard are being considered, so that's a relief. But who's out there? I'm assuming it'll have to be an unknown.

You have any suggestions?

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43 Comments

  • Jazz | May 10, 2012 7:09 AMReply

    What about Avery Brooks?

  • CottonClub | July 25, 2011 8:17 AMReply

    We live in a Post-Modern era. What's the difference between Tarantino piecing his movies together with scenes from other movies and Hip Hop producers piecing songs together from record samples.

    My problem with Tarantino is his Black characters. His fetish for Blaxploitation era archetypes always leads to something that seems like an imitation of an imitation.

    Agreed the subject matter is bad ass - but I already know he must of had a field day typing the "N" word THAT many times in this script.

  • RideThisHandsomeBlackCowboyStud | June 28, 2011 2:48 AMReply

    I'D be a hard-core "Django,but I'm likely TOO D**M GOOD-LOOKING FOR THE ROLE!!!!

  • Dan | June 24, 2011 7:07 AMReply

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  • Dankwa Brooks | May 5, 2011 1:29 AMReply

    @Cynthia - Chad Coleman from the “The Wire” IS a good option. This is a portion of what I wrote about him -
    "You would think that with all of these intertwining storylines the introduction of a new character wouldn't be relevant, but it was. When they introduced the character of Dennis "Cutty" Wise I though it was a waste of time. This was the third season of an already character rich show and we had SO many great existing characters why in the hell do we need one more? Well it seems the producers knew what they were doing. During this season's thirteen episodes we saw the full arc of someone who had to readjust to society, after a fourteen-year prison sentence, and see where he fits in this new world. The character was also given more resonance through the melancholy performance of his portrayer Chad L. Coleman.”

    @artbizzy - Esther Rolle was a BRILLIANT actor. I've seen the "Damn, damn, damn!" scene a million times and it still gives me chills. After studying film (as a director) I can TOTALLY see why she and Amos were upset that some "stand-up" who couldn't act worth a damn (& I liked the J.J. character) was getting all the attention and thus storylines. I don't fall into the category of calling him a "coon & buffoon", but he wasn't an actor in the slightest. I also like to point out that J.J. was one of the 1st sexual black men on TV. Back to Rolle I have to say I've seen her in old footage off the set and, while still no beauty queen, she didn't look half bad. I guess that was a compliment right?

  • David | May 3, 2011 7:47 AMReply

    Correction to this article. The original (Corbucci) Django is not a series of films. There was a direct sequel in the 80's that sucked, but a majority of the other films that came out with Django in titile were unofficial and most didn't even have Franco Nero in them.

    The unofficial Django movies were totally different stories but changed their titles to Django to ride off the success of the original, which is why most of these unofficial Django sequels have different titles in other countries that don't have the word Django or a character named Django in them.

    Case in point there were like a dozen Django movies that came out the same year as the original, 1966.

  • Lynn | May 2, 2011 1:08 AMReply

    NO to the following actors: Forest Whitaker, Mackie, Chiwetel, Don Cheadle, Idris Elba are y'all serious??

    Michael Clarke Duncan or Ving Rhames would be perfect!!!

  • Sergio | May 1, 2011 12:50 PMReply

    @ Adrienne

    First of all there's NO deception. I clearly stated in my article that the description came from another "source" I haven't read the script though it's now on my must read list.

    As for Anne Thompson "calling me out". I know Anne and when she read my article yesterday she asked me where I got it from and I told her and she put it in her column. No big deal. Where do you think we or any other film blogs get their information We get it from all kind other soruces. A couple of other film blogs also had the same info about QT's western. We weren't the first.

    As for my analysis of QT's work I stand by what I said He steals everything from other movies. Who are you his mistress?

  • CareyCarey | May 1, 2011 12:47 PMReply

    I'm calling a low blow foul on adrienne (below). Anne didn't call sh*t on Sergio. It was a simple lead-in to his quote.

    Get your shit together before you come up in here with misleading accusations.

  • reg | May 1, 2011 12:17 PMReply

    who should play Django? Chiwetel Ejiofor. done.

  • Jane | May 1, 2011 8:37 AMReply

    Idris Elba!!

    And I would say Tarja P. Henson for the wife.

  • Jesus Beltran | May 1, 2011 8:29 AMReply

    Word of caution on feeling giddy about a film like this.

    I was excited as shit when Robert Rodriguez announced MACHETE a few years back. A tough as shit Mexican hero blowing up a bunch of right wing Texas douchebags ... sign me up! (I'm from Texas!)

    Unfortunately, as the credits rolled I had a bad taste in my mouth and left the theater totally unsatisfied. It was like being really hungry, seeing a huge triple decker cheeseburger, gorging on it..... and throwing up fifteen minutes later.

    At the end of the day, seeing a violent and blatantly obvious take on a serious issue just didn't do it for me.

  • diana | May 1, 2011 8:18 AMReply

    Eammon walker hallo!!!!

  • adrienne | May 1, 2011 7:25 AMReply

    Mr Sergio it's not cool to take other peoples' words and not credit them. That damages your credibility. You makes as if you have firsthand information when you just copied it from another site.

    Anne Thompson called you on it: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/2011/04/30/tarantino_find_a_title_django_unchained/

    Besides that your "analysis" of QT is weak. If you're going to attempt criticism at least be thorough and appear informed instead of the usual "he steals from everyone" line that we've heard a billion times from just about everybody else.

  • CareyCarey | May 1, 2011 5:44 AMReply

    Hello All,

    First let me say I love Quentin Tarantino’s work. I first saw his work at the Teluride film festival. Yep, Reservoir Dogs. Man, I was hooked. Looking back, I think some of my appeal for his movies are the actors he chooses. Damn, when he broke out with RD's the cast was just right, ie, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi (who I just saw in The Chosen One)... come on, who can forget Michael Madsen dancing around that dude and singing in his ear? That movie is a classic.

    And come on, Pulp Fiction is another film that was packed with suspense, humor, action and great actors. Do I have to name Samuel Jackson, Bruce Willis, John Travolta and Ving Rhanes, huh. Well, the list goes on. But man, that scene in the pawn shop(?) had me shaking my head for a loooooog time. That sh*t was gripping cinema. Not to mention the scenes with John Travolta and Ving's woman. Damn, that flick is another classic. Come on, Inglourious Bastards and Kill Bill, let me stop, the boy is good!

    Now, I love love love a good western (although I wasn't as thrilled with the new True Grit as Sergio was). I probably haven't seen as many westerns as Sergio (he's 101 years old) but I'll chose a good western over a great drama (well, most of the time. depends on the drama).

    Like Sergio, I Ioved me a good spaghetti western. Maybe I should quailfy that. I'm thinking the 3 Clint Eastwood flicks. So I am all in for Quentin Tarantino’s newest.

    Who should play the role of Django?

    Well, since Christopher Waltz and Quentin are already plugged in, I wouldn't care if it was Sergio, Black Sambo, Tambay, Zeus or Cynthia on the low low down, the movie will be a NO MISS. Book it, it's no-brainer time.

  • dwtdken | May 1, 2011 4:23 AMReply

    hes stuck in prison at the moment but noones badder than wesley snipes and he doesnt have to say much to make a point

  • Matthew | May 1, 2011 4:19 AMReply

    Mos Def....I know he's not the most "masculine" actor, but the dude can act. I would love to see him do this.

  • Andre | May 1, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    Quentin you should hire MICHAEL JAY WHITE!!!!

  • Bob | May 1, 2011 3:53 AMReply

    Mackie or Elba for sure. If not them, an unknown.

  • Cynthia | May 1, 2011 3:45 AMReply

    Chad Coleman from "The Wire" is a good option. Every time I see him I think of Jim Brown. Here he is with your sweetheart Yaya DaCosta in the "Good Man" music video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeKaHBMKows

  • Her | May 1, 2011 2:45 AMReply

    Cheadle, Elba, Ejiofor...[How old is the character?] Is Mackie too young?
    PS. (Sergio)/ShadowAndAct, broke this before Nikki Finke and The Playlist.
    Cool.

  • Aaron | May 1, 2011 1:56 AMReply

    Just fine a really good unknown actor to play the lead ( who will nail the part), and surround him with stars. That will work.

  • Sergio | May 1, 2011 1:05 AMReply

    P.S. You do have any idea how many other sites steal from S & A? There's one site in particular, that won't be mentioned, that does nothing but steal our stuff. But we don't complain. That's the way of the world

  • artbizzy | April 30, 2011 12:55 PMReply

    Didn't Kool Moe Dee do this with the video for Wild Wild West, lol? QT should cast him. I know, I know, the "rapper/actor thing" but he's been out of the game so long, lol...

    @Dankwa You ain't right, lol! But Esther Rolle certainly was a great actress. I'm glad they put that first over her not being fiiiine as hell like Pam Grier. Nowadays, we see a fiiine ass actress with a shlubby actor. These certainly are different times.

    While I can appreciate some of QT's work, I do wish this was Black written, produced and directed, however. If I hear the n-word even once I'm going to punch a black cowboy off of QT's movie screen.

  • misha | April 30, 2011 12:55 PMReply

    Just thinking a bit more about it, I have to say that I may be more intrigued by who Tarantino casts as Django's wife and how big a role she will actually play in the film. Can't wait to find out.

  • jon | April 30, 2011 12:49 PMReply

    Idris Elba would be AMAZING. WOWOWOWOW.

  • Sergio | April 30, 2011 12:08 PMReply

    @ JIM

    YES I am a prick (EVERYONE knows that) and proud of it and I still stand behind everything I said.

    So there!

    And what do you think I should buy? Any suggestions?

  • NothingButAMan | April 30, 2011 11:49 AMReply

    It wouldn't surprise me if he went with that Afro-French actor from "Basterds"...

  • JIM | April 30, 2011 11:33 AMReply

    You're a prick. You call Tarantino in love with himself? "I've been seeing movies before Star Wars believe it or not." Complete self-indulgence. You did really well with this article. You should go and buy yourself something nice.

  • Dankwa Brooks | April 30, 2011 11:16 AMReply

    artbizzy - John Amos is a REALLY good actor! Most people slept on him I think because he was on 'Good Times', but he still seems to get plenty of work, really more than anyone else in that cast. I mean when you can convicingly act like you are attracted to Esther Rolle...I'm jus sayin...

  • tambay | April 30, 2011 11:03 AMReply

    Just read the Deadline report on this and it says that Tarantino will casting "top-shelf" for this, as he did with Brad Pitt in "Basterds." How many black male actors are on that short "name" list?

  • extragolden | April 30, 2011 10:28 AMReply

    Two words: Forrest Whittaker

  • artbizzy | April 30, 2011 10:20 AMReply

    If only John Amos from "Good Times" was young enough. He'd play a hardcore Django.

  • Dankwa Brooks | April 30, 2011 8:24 AMReply

    Let me state I think most of QT's films are great. I think he's a great, yet self taught filmmaker. As a filmmaker who studied it in school (at the undergrad level though applying to grad schools) I don't totally subscribe to the whole "self taught" method, and I find a lot (too many?) filmmakers think they can do the same.

    Having said that QT is the exception NOT the rule and if it works for him go for it!

    Much like other high profile directors he may not need a "star" to be the lead as long as it's a QT film. he DOES know what a good actor is and he will definitely find a good actor to fill the slot. I thought 'Basterds' was on the most part WACK, but Christopher Waltz was EXCELLENT. Brad Pitt did a good job, but to me Waltz was the only good thing about the picture.

    I'm intrigued by the news of this picture so far and I'll stay tuned for further developments.

  • Neziah | April 30, 2011 7:43 AMReply

    Don Cheadle should definitely play Django.

  • Cynthia | April 30, 2011 7:43 AMReply

    "I.Basterds was (in part) a passive love song to Nazi’s..."

    Um Jane...did I see the same "Inglorious Basterds" that you did? lol

    Sergio in some ways I agree with you about Quentin but, at the same time, that's what makes him good. He NEVER shies away from who and what he steals from. In fact, he'll be the first to beg you to seek out and learn.

  • Al | April 30, 2011 7:40 AMReply

    I found this article to be as self-indulgent as you described QT...

    I personally find his films to cater more towards film fanatics than to people who have only watched 'Star Wars and on.' That "Searchers" shot in Kill Bill was glorious, the "Potempkin" reference in Basterds was fun, and all of Jackie Brown was a love letter to blaxplotation. But see the original thing in his films is the energy, something these classics don't have a lot of. Also, the way he approaches his characters is rarely seen. Rather then writing them as real people he seems to think of them as movie characters. They're still approached sympathetically, they just aren't bogged down by self seriousness. (unless thats the character...)

    That being said, the actor would be tough to cast in this one. In keeping with Spaghetti Western, I couldn't see it being an incredibly built actor, yet they also can't be weak. You need someone who gives that certain look and is badass without speaking (much akin to Spaghetti Westerns of yore). Unfortunately Samuel L. Jackson presence wouldn't be subtle, plus his badass nature mostly comes from dialog.

  • jane | April 30, 2011 7:08 AMReply

    Oh damn. Delete the prior. I read this wrong. The descript of C.W. confused the hell out of me. I see it now, "Bounty Hunter" helps NOT Nazi. Thank goodness. PS. The rest stands.

  • Jane | April 30, 2011 7:03 AMReply

    1st off I agree 1000%. 1) A black western would be dope. 2) Wish it was a black Director. 3) QT's greatest (and only) two skills are, "stealing from other films" and "hiring exceptionally adept crew."
    Mostly, I'm not clear why he always has to put vinegar in the tea. Aside from being utter nonsense, I.Basterds was (in part) a passive love song to Nazi's. There are skinheads with posters and stills from that film in their meeting rooms. I'm not joking.
    Now, writing the "evil Nazi" of Django into a [sympathetic hero] for the protagonist/thereby the audience; could again, cause a wounded culture of folks some digestive challenges.
    None of it matters, as the offended won't go but it forces the question; What is QT's personal point and pleasure; as a human and as a filmmaker, electing to potentially celebrate-honor-sympathize with an "evil Nazi"?
    My instincts say, per norm, he didn't think for five seconds about the implications. (Say it with me now) He simply thought, "IT'S COOL".

  • Zeus | April 30, 2011 5:43 AMReply

    Idris Elba or Michael Jai White.

    Anxious for this one. :)

  • tambay | April 30, 2011 4:24 AMReply

    The first "Django" is one of those films my dad had lying around the house on VHS in my youth, so we watched it many times. I remember back then, confusing him with Eastwood's "Man With No Name" in Sergio Leone's films. It was only later that I realized the genre family of films that they all belonged to, and the connections/copies.

    Anyway... I wouldn't be surprised if Tarantino digs in the annals of black actors who were once "hot" but have since "faded" - someone from the 90s possibly; Although, I really can't think of any right now.

  • misha | April 30, 2011 4:10 AMReply

    Now first let me say that I have never seen any of the Django pictures and am not a huge western fan. But I like Tarantino's work (really liked Inglorious Basterds) and am most certainly intrigued by a black western. With that said, how about Chiwetel Ejiofor as Django? From the description above, I think he'd be an excellent choice. He has the acting chops and the look to pull it off imo.

    Heck, how about Idris Elba, the man who somehow lost a "masculine" role to Tyler Perry? Another great choice, I think.

  • Synthia | April 30, 2011 3:46 AMReply

    I would love to see a black western from Tarantino.

    (I'd also love to read a detailed essay analyzing his artistic theft. This is not something I'm aware of. I personally have seen him obviously paying homage, but it's so obviously an homage fed through is very idiosyncratic style that I've never felt it theft or a lack of originality. I'd love to hear an informed person's views on this).

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