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The D Is Silent: Inside The Trailer For 'Django Unchained'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist June 11, 2012 at 3:03PM

The biggest story of the last week, by a mile, was the debut of the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino's sure-to-be-controversial Western "Django Unchained." Starring Jamie Foxx as the title character, a slave out to rescue his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), with Christoph Waltz as his companion, Dr. King Schultz and Leonardo DiCaprio as one of the villains, Calvin Candie, it was one of the most anticipated films of the year before hand, but the excellent teaser clip has certainly raised expectations even further.
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Django Unchained Wanted Poster
3. The In-Joke
The close-up of a trio of Wanted posters at 1:04 into the trailer contains a neat little tip to the Western genre. The most prominent reads: "Reward: $2000 in gold coin will be paid for the apprehension, Dead or Alive, of Edwin Porter, for train robbery." Edwin Porter was, for those not up on their silent cinema, a pioneer of silent film and cross-cut editing, whose 1903 picture "The Great Train Robbery" is generally deemed to be the first Western. The film was an enormous success at the time, touring for years, and virtually gave birth to cinema as we know it. As for the other poster, for one Smokey Nelson, we're drawing a blank: any suggestions?

4. Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly
There aren't a ton of women in "Django Unchained," the most prominent being Kerry Washington as Broomhilda, who features heavily throughout the trailer. But there's one other: Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly, the widowed sister of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who's just as unpleasant a person as her brother. We'd pegged possibilities like Christina Hendricks and Uma Thurman for the role, but in fact it was a a relative unknown who ended up with the role: Laura Cayouette, who played Rocket in "Kill Bill: Volume 2," as well as more substantial roles in the Tarantino-produced "Daltry Calhoun" and "Hell Ride," and can be glimpsed at 2:02 in the trailer. She's got small roles on the way in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," "Loft" and "Now You See Me" too.

Django Unchained Franco Nero
5. Franco Nero
The gentleman at the end, at the 2:18 mark, who asks Django his name is another in-joke of a kind: the actor is the great Italian star Franco Nero. Best known for roles in films like "Camelot," "Die Hard 2" and "Letters To Juliet," he presumably came to Tarantino's attention as the lead in 1966's "Django," Sergio Corbucci's ultra-violent Western that's one of the key reference points for Tarantino's film (watch it in full right here). The plot was quite different -- in the original, Nero's Django is a drifter who carries a coffin containing a machine gun -- but it did involve revenge, with Django looking for Major Jackson, who killed his wife, so it's a nice tip of the hat to include a meeting of the two Djangos, even if Nero's role is relatively minor.

This article is related to: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Franco Nero , Laura Cayouette, Don Johnson


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