By Kevin Jagernauth | Indiewire May 3, 2011 at 7:40AM
Just when we thought word was locked down over the weekend about Quentin Tarantino, Christoph Waltz and the forthcoming spaghetti western "Django Unchained," the director and actor themselves continue to play their cards close to the chest or simply outright deny recent reports.
Let's start with the Christoph Waltz part of the equation. Recently he spoke to MTV during the press gauntlet for "Water For Elephants" (which we'll remind you took place before most of this news) and flat out denied his involvement in the film. "I can set the record straight: it's like a profound misunderstanding that explains the insanity of the Internet," Waltz told MTV. "It's Franco Nero, in Italy, who's planning a Spaghetti Western. He said, 'It would be great if we got a director like Quentin Tarantino.' And immediately, all of the manic bloggers had a version [of the story]. Whatever was the most attractive version was picked."
"No, we haven't talked," he added. "Quentin is usually working in these spurts. He has to let it ferment for a long time, then he goes [to work] and then we find out." Watch that poker face on Landa. He doesn't seem quite convincing.
Meanwhile, Vulture cornered the director at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and asked him straight up if Waltz was in the film, to which Tarantino coyly replied, "I didn't say he was in it." So what's going on here?
Well, what we can tell you is if you've read the script, it's completely evident that not only is the lead role of Schultz meant for Christoph Waltz, it's actively written for him in a way that's not that dissimilar from his Col. Hans Landa character in "Inglourious Basterds." We would frankly be shocked if Waltz isn't cast as the German co-lead bounty hunter the film. That said, it is early days and his deal may not have quite locked yet or he simply may not know the ins and outs of the part or film just yet (which would explain his comment about not having talked to Tarantino). But it's pretty much impossible to picture anyone else in the part and it's likely just a matter of time until everything is formalized.
One other nugget from Vulture's impromptu interview that people seem to be latching on to is that the script is 366 pages long. Uh, no. Chalk it up to a misunderstanding at a loud party, but subtract about 200 pages and that's about your length (if you haven't guessed yet already, yes, we've read it). If shot as is, it would probably have a similar runtime to 'Basterds.'
We're sure that's not the last of the rumors to come in the days and months leading up to the film lensing later this year. As always, it will be interesting to see who Tarantino ropes in for the film and if the absence of his longtime editor, Sally Menke, will be felt in the final product. But a new Tarantino in 2012? We sure hope so and can't wait.