By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 15, 2011 at 2:06AM
In a film that already seems to be packing plenty of surprises, it looks like Quentin Tarantino still has one up his sleeve.
Confirmed by BoxOfficeMojo, Tarantino's slavery vengeance tale "Django Unchained" has been set by The Weinstein Company for a Christmas Day 2012 release. Looks like you better leave some room in that stocking for a pair of tickets to the film. The move is an interesting one which seems to follow suit with Sony's counterprogramming move this year, slating David Fincher's high profile downer "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" with a December 21st release and an ad campaign touting it as "The Feel Bad Movie Of Christmas." Also, Tarantino is no stranger to the holiday season as 1997's "Jackie Brown," also had a similar release, which you might recall even had a "Santa's Got A Brand New Bag" tagline on its teaser poster featuring a bag full of money.
There are still more questions than answers right now surrounding the film which follows Django, a freed slave who trains under a German bounty hunter and with his help tracks down his slave wife to liberate her from an evil plantation owner. While nothing is inked just yet, Christoph Waltz is pretty much guaranteed for the bounty hunter role, with Leonardo DiCaprio rumored to be locked for the villain Calvin Candie with Samuel L. Jackson as his sidekick. But the role of Django himself is still open. Will Smith has been courted but it appears he won't be taking the role, with Jamie Foxx rumored to be in pole position for the job.
Either way, December is already looking ridiculously packed with "Life Of Pi" and "Lone Ranger" arriving just days before and "The Hobbit" towering over everybody earlier in the month. But the Weinsteins are making a strong play that the film will be an alternative choice, and a juicy one at that. Filming is expected to start late summer/early fall and it doesn't look like Tarantino will be rushing for this one to be ready in time for Cannes. Sorry, Thierry.