The latest trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming spaghetti western/blaxploitation homage Django Unchained provides some tantalizing new glimpses of the film’s supporting characters and a few more examples of the director’s hyper-referential sensibility. We’re still a couple months away from the film’s Christmas Day release — what better time to spend an afternoon dissecting individual trailer frames? Warning: Silent movies and Miami Vice will be discussed!
Tarantino has name-checked Sergio Corbucci as a major influence on Django Unchained. The influence is right there in the title: Corbucci’s brutal-cartoon western Django inspired hundreds of rip-offs in the go-go era of the Italian western. But early scenes of the trailer take place in a snowy climate that recalls Corbucci’s lesser-known The Great Silence, a bleak masterwork starring Klaus Kinski as a crazed Mormon-hunter.
A fun item for film nerds here: A paper advertises a $2000 reward for one “Edwin Porter,” who is guilty of “Train Robbery.” In real life, Edwin Stanton Porter was an early filmmaker who directed The Great Train Robbery, essentially inventing the action movie a century before Michael Bay destroyed it.
This is the first trailer to prominently feature Kerry Washington as Broomhilda von Shaft, Django’s enslaved beloved. At Comic-Con, Tarantino explained that Broomhilda’s last name is a hint that Django Unchained links to a famous icon of black cinema. (Hint: He’s a cat that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about, and is also a sex machine to all the chicks.)
Broomhilda is held captive by Calvin Candy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in a beard and a boutonnière. “Broomhilda is my property,” says Candy, “And I can choose to do with my property whatever I so desire.”
Candy’s tastes also include pitting his slaves against each other in brutal fight matches. So he’s basically the most evil man you’ll see in a movie this year, all-but assuring DiCaprio a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
The trailer also gives us an extended peak at Samuel L. Jackson’s role as Stephen, Calvin Candy’s right-hand man. This is Jackson’s largest role in a Tarantino project since Jackie Brown in 1997, although he had a brief shadow cameo in Kill Bill — Volume 2 and lent his voice to the “Hugo Stiglitz” segment of Inglourious Basterds.
“Hey, little troublemaker,” says Django, thus initiating one of the great swoons in recent cinema history. See below:
Seriously, that’s a GIF just waiting to happen.
There are two shots in the trailer of this mysterious person: A blonde woman carrying an axe, with her face completely covered. Is she just a random background extra? Maybe… but taking a close look, I suspect that this might actually be Zoe Bell, the stuntwoman who doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill before essentially playing herself in Death Proof.
Hey look, it’s Don Johnson! Johnson plays a dapper plantation owner named Big Daddy Bennett, who looks like Colonel Sanders and sounds like Foghorn Leghorn. The guy who played Sonny Crockett in a white suit? The chances of Jan Hammer being on the Django Unchained soundtrack just skyrocketed, and if you understand that reference, then you’re a big dumb nerd and marry me.
Hey look, it’s Jonah Hill! Out with his presumably murderous pals, he asks if anyone brought an extra mask-bag. Haha, that’s Django Unchained, kids, the family-friendly comedy hit! Coming to theaters this Christmas!
An earlier trailer already showed off the cameo appearance by Franco Nero, the Italian actor who basically trademarked the phrase “piercing blue eyes” with his starring role in the original Django. But this new trailer actually features a quick audio sample from the original Django theme, composed by Luis Bacalov. Listen to the full theme song by watching the video below, which features the opening titles of the original Django. (With Spanish subtitles, why not!)
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