Friday, December 11, 2015

Tarantino Reveals Why Django Was Not in "The Hateful Eight"

Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained
With the release of director Quentin Tarantino's latest film The Hateful Eight only weeks away, it feels like a great time to pull up old retrospectives about his career. With a great ear for dialogue and some of the best stylized violence in mainstream cinema, the director has slowly built his way into being one of the most definitive voices of his generation. Among his more controversial films is 2012's Django Unchained, which starred Jamie Foxx as a freed slave who seeks revenge on his white captors in a bloody, anachronistic fashion. While these two films share relations to the western genre, there's something else that they have in common. Django almost appeared in The Hateful Eight.

It may seem blasphemous to think that Tarantino would reuse a character for a new film. With exception to Kill Bill: Vol. 2, he hasn't really been a fan of recycling characters, though he's fine with recycling actors. However, most of his films do have overlapping similarities. Characters in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are related to each other while products such as Red Apple and Big Kahuna Burger have been present in various entries. With his next project following Django Unchained, he planned to initially turn it into a paperback novel called "Django in White Hell" before it morphed into what it is. 

So, why doesn't Django appear in The Hateful Eight? Here's the reasoning according to Tarantino, as mentioned in an interview via DP30:
“I hadn’t written a novel before, I thought I would just try my hand at writing this Django paperback. At the time it was called 'Django in White Hell.' And it was basically just, you know – so I started writing – and it was basically just the stagecoach stuff, you know, all the stuff that we have in the story of the stagecoach, instead of Major Warren it was Django. And I was working on that and I hadn’t got to Minnie’s Haberdashery yet, hadn’t figured out who the other people would be there, just kind of, just setting this mystery into place.”
Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight
For those who do not know, Major Warren is played by Tarantino's longtime collaborator Samuel L. Jackson. His performance in the film has also garnered some praise, though is overlooked by the recently Golden Globe nominated performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh. Still, it makes sense why Tarantino would reject Django's involvement and it would be hard to imagine anyone but Jackson in the role. Most importantly, it would be interesting to see if Tarantino actually ever does write a paperback novel, whether it be about Django or one of his dozens of other beloved characters. Who would you choose?

The news cycle has been pretty much populated with Tarantino giving plenty of juicy information. There's rumors that Kill Bill: Vol. 3 is still possible. There's also reports that the infamous dispute between Tarantino and legendary composer Ennio Morricone was greatly exaggerated, as his complaints of the director's work being incomprehensible was only in reference to one scene. Otherwise, they sound like they're buddies and Morricone is relieved to be working within the western genre as a composer again. Still, it will be exciting to see if things pan out and he gets some Oscar love. 

All of this is far more intriguing than why Will Smith bowed out of Django Unchained. However, there's arguably one piece of news that is going to get some people excited. While the film is scheduled to premiere in 70 mm in extended cuts starting on Christmas Day, the regular release is not too far behind. While it was initially scheduled for mid-January, it has now been pushed up to January 1. While that means that it's less than a week of waiting, it means that you can start the New Years with someone you hate. Now doesn't that sound like fun?

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