Comic-Con 2012: 'Django Unchained' preview

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Not that I needed any more reasons to be excited about a new Quentin Tarantino movie, but after catching the sneak preview of his upcoming ‘Southern’ (essentially a spaghetti western set in the American South during the times of slavery), I am officially in Countdown mode.  Tarantino is the master of genre mash-ups, and it looks as though his tale of cowboys and plantation owners is going to bring something totally new to the table, possibly along with a bit of controversy.

The footage that we were shown was essentially an extended, eight-minute long trailer that covered bits from the first half of the film.  There weren’t many looks at DiCaprio or Sam Jackson, but we got to spend a lot of time with our newly freed hero Django, as well as his partner and mentor Dr. King Schultz, played by the wonderful Christoph Waltz.  Waltz seems to be bringing the same manic energy to Schultz he brought to the terrifying Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds, but this time on the side of the good guys.  

Django

There was plenty of shootin’, horse-riding’ action, showing that as much as this is a movie about slavery, it is also unabashedly a cowboy movie.  At the panel, Tarantino talked at length about his love for the Western genre, as well as the movies that inspired Django, none of which I had ever heard of, but all of which sounded interesting.  

The cast that was there (Jaime Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, Don Johnson, and Walton Goggins) all seemed genuinely thrilled about the film, and said that it wasn’t really like any script they had ever read before.  Rolling westerns, exploitation films, and fairy tales all into one, it simultaneously seemed like Tarantino’s most straight-forward film in ages (linear storytelling, a simple ‘get my wife back’ mission for it’s main character) while also being his most tonally complicated.

In addition to the great footage and charming cast, I could have listened to Tarantino talk for hours.  That guy knows more about movies than pretty much anyone, and I feel like I learned a bunch just from being in a room with him.  I can’t wait to continue my education when Django Unchained comes out on Christmas.

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Eric Zipper Eric Zipper is a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles. When he's not making you laugh, playing video games, or watching movies, he's probably sleeping. Follow him on Twitter @erzip
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