Django Unchained First Look: If I Had a Hammer…

“Are you making a Western, Howard?”

Fans awaiting Quentin Tarantino’s highly anticipated Django Unchained were given a carrot this week, as the Weinstein Company released two images from the forthcoming film.

Todd Gilchrist for The Hollywood Reporter writes:

In two new images from Quentin Tarantino’s latest, which also stars Kerry Washington, Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, the actors showcase costumes authentic to the film’s Southern locale.

Quentin Tarantino fans eager to see the filmmaker’s take on spaghetti westerns got their first look Thursday at what he calls his “Southern.” The Weinstein Company released two images from Django Unchained, one featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and the other Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, both of which highlight the period details in Tarantino’s depiction of the antebellum American South.

Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave who strikes a tenuous deal with bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (played by Waltz) in exchange for help finding his kidnapped wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). DiCaprio plays a plantation owner named Calvin Candie, who grooms slaves to battle each other for sport. Kurt Russell plays Candie’s slave trainer, and Samuel L. Jackson plays a house slave named Stephen who becomes suspicious of Django and Schultz after they begin to investigate Candie’s “Candyland” plantation complex.

Spaghetti western meets the Antebellum South?  Candie’s Candyland plantation complex?

The possibilites are endless.

I have to admit that I’m not much of a Quentin Tarantino fan, save the masterpiece that is Pulp Fiction.  However, it’s exciting to see Leo adding another directing heavyweight to his already impressive list with this newest collaboration.

Looking at this first film still out of context is torture. What exactly is going on?  Who is he about to hit?  Who is that girl in the background, and what is on her head?  And am I the only one who finds this bizarre composition a bit seductive?  I doubt it, and I’m sure Tarantino intended it that way.

I was so happy to read that Craig Dietz pointed out the similarities between Leo’s Calvin Candie and Daniel Day Lewis’s Bill the Butcher from Martin Scorcese’s Gangs of New York.

The resemblance is borderline eerie.  Leo has certainly been in the position to learn from the champion actors with which he has costarred, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he channels a bit of Daniel Day Lewis in his portrayal.  I hope, if the direction dictates it, that Leo can loosen up in this role and be open to Tarantino’s bombastic method of storytelling.

We’ll just have to wait and see!

Django Unchained opens December 25, 2012.

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  1. Great Gatsby: First Trailer « Vegan Cinephile
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