Earlier this year, it was reported that Quentin Tarantino was hard at work on his next film, with a script due sometime this spring. Last night, fansite The Quentin Tarantino Archives dropped the first nugget of information. They got their hands on an image of the first page of the script -- which looks like it was written by a five-year old with a broken hand (you can check it out below) -- revealing the title to be "Django Unchained." Well a bit more digging has been done and not only has the title been confirmed, but a cast member, potential shooting dates and even a possible synopsis have emerged. Like we said, the buzz has grown deafening fairly quickly.
Thompson On Hollywood picked up the ball and reaching out to their sources at WME, confirmed that yes, "Django Unchained" is indeed the title, and that it will be a spaghetti western. Moreover, they spoke with reps for Christoph Waltz and also confirmed that the "Inglourious Basterds" star will reunite with Tarantino for the film.
But let's rewind for a moment shall we? As you might remember, a few months ago Italian actor Franco Nero said he was teaming with Tarantino for a spaghetti western that would star Waltz, Treat Williams and Keith Carradine and that the film would shoot in the United States. Now whether or not Nero, Williams or Carradine will be involved remains to be seen, but the Nero connection is made stronger given that the actor starred in the influential 1966 spaghetti western "Django" directed by Sergio Corbucci. And as any genre fan knows, that film was recently referenced by Takashi Miike in his 2007 film "Sukiyaki Western Django" which -- to bring it all back -- featured Quentin Tarantino in a small role.
Over at Deadline, Mike Fleming adds that the film is aiming for a late summer or early fall shoot with Tarantino's longtime buds The Weinstein Company to handle domestic distribution, with all the majors pretty much scrapping it out for international rights. Additionally, he adds that casting will be "top-shelf."
Django is a freed slave, who, under the tutelage of a German bounty hunter (Christopher Waltz) 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.
Of course, there's no confirmation that this is accurate but it sounds a helluva lot like the slave/western idea Tarantino had talked about in early 2010. At the time he had said, "I'd like to do a Western. But rather than set it in Texas, have it in slavery times. With that subject that everybody is afraid to deal with. Let's shine that light on ourselves. You could do a ponderous history lesson of slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. Or, you could make a movie that would be exciting. Do it as an adventure. A spaghetti Western that takes place during that time. And I would call it 'A Southern' [which Uma Thurman confirmed earlier this year]."
He also added, "I want to do movies that deal with America's horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they're genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it's ashamed of it, and other countries don't really deal with because they don't feel they have the right to."
So definitely a lot to chew on right now, but just to recap: Quentin Tarantino is reteaming with Christoph Waltz for a spaghetti western titled "Django Unchained." Fucking A.