By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 1, 2012 at 11:48AM
Earlier this year there were rumors that Quentin Tarantino's slavery Western "Django Unchained" was running over three hours. Given the screenplay was around 170 pages, this wasn't entirely a surprise, and test screenings essentially confirmed the unofficial running time. But then Tarantino himself recently said he didn't want the movie to be over three hours long and had been wrestling with whiddling his latest epic down to size.
Screenings are taking place this weekend for press and it looks like the film is finally locked. Exhibitor Relations confirms the final running time, which is now exactly 2hrs 45mins 11secs. Poor Variety Philistines. Betweeen "The Hobbit," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Les Miserables" and 'Django,' this month is going to be their own personal butt-numb-athon (all are over two and a half hours approx).
Meanwhile, soundtrack details were recently released, but the Frank Ocean song written for the film didn't make the cut. What happened? Tarantino had to cut the song from the film entirely, because he said he couldn't make it work within its existing framework.
"Frank Ocean wrote a fantastic ballad that was truly lovely and poetic in every way, there just wasn't a scene for it," Tarantino said in a statement. "I could have thrown it in quickly just to have it, but that's not why he wrote it and not his intention. So I didn't want to cheapen his effort. But, the song is fantastic, and when Frank decides to unleash it on the public, they'll realize it then."
While Rick Ross' new song did make the cut( which you can listen to here as did a new composition written by the great Ennio Morricone (who was asked to score "Inglourious Basterds," but had to turn it down because of conflicting work), many are claiming this is the first time any musicians have written original material for Tarantino's films (QT generally doesn't use score). While close, this isn't exactly correct. Robert Rodriguez composed original bits of score for the "Kill Bill" saga, as did the RZA. None of them are very long mind you, but they are original pieces of music that Tarantino asked them to supply for the film and they gladly obliged him.
Meanwhile, above is a taste of some bloody new images of the film from the latest issue of Empire via CBM. "Django Unchained" is unleashed in theaters on December 25, and stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Don Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson and many, many more.