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As the script circulates, what we know about Tarantino's Django Unchained

05.03.2011

It was a long day and the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of the computer for another two or three hours. I wanted a beer, I wanted to finally watch 13 ASSASSINS, I wanted to lay on the couch and, most importantly, I wanted to not work. But before I could relax, I had to check my inbox one last time. At the very top was the curious subject line "Django Unchained" and next to it was a little paper clip. There was an attachment.

At 11pm, I finally reached page 166 of Quentin Tarantino's final draft DJANGO UNCHAINED with a wide smile on my face.

I'm not going to write a "script review," because that format is rather bland and does nothing for the project. I did, however, want to share a few quick things, mostly to clarify some of the rumors that have been floating around about the film.

- Despite MTV's assertion that Christoph Waltz is not going to star in DJANGO (at least that's what the actor told them), there is most definitely a part - the second lead role after Django - written for the star. It's not a villain but the character is German (think Sergio Sollima's THE BIG GUNDOWN) and his use of that language is central to the plot. Besides Waltz, there are a few great roles for some Tarantino regulars, should they be interested and available.

- The film is not a remake or spinoff of the classic "Django" character originated by Franco Nero in 1966's DJANGO. Nero had previously stated he was working on the film with Tarantino but the only character I see as a fit for the actor is a very small part as Tarantino's character is Django in name only.

- As you've heard, the film is a spaghetti western (this much is mentioned in the first sentence of the script) that is very much inspired by Leone (who is name-checked numerous times throughout).

Script reading is a strange thing. Some people hate and some people love it (as evidenced by the heightened security at studios and the proliferation of script trading on the web). I get a lot of scripts - some I read for editorial concerns and some I never get around to ever reading. But when a Tarantino script becomes available it transcends just sitting and reading a PDF of a script. There's something electric - a giddy mix of curiosity and excitement - that comes with sitting down, seeing Quentin's traditionally hand-scrawled cover page and diving in, not knowing what to expect.

I'll never forget that feeling when I was a kid of coming home, jumping on my bed and tearing into whatever exciting thing just came out. Whether it was a new Stephen King book or the #1 issue of a new comic series or plugging the headphones into my boombox and letting a tape play all the way through while flipping through the liner notes. No matter what time it is or whatever else you're supposed to be doing, the door is shut and you leap head first into a new world. I feel that same way when a new Tarantino script arrives on my desk. I remember reading both KILL BILL and INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and I felt exactly the same way I did when I finished DJANGO UNCHAINED last night.

It's silly to have to actually say this out loud but this is why Quentin Tarantino is one of the most important filmmakers working today. There are other great screenwriters out there but Tarantino's work is so unique, his scripts read like novels (please note I said "unique" and this does not necessarily mean "better"). People who dislike reading scripts will often say they don't want to be spoiled for a movie but reading a Tarantino script doesn't spoil the movie anymore than reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tatttoo" spoils watching THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.

DJANGO was a great read and will, no doubt, make a fantastic movie. Just as excited as I was last night, I'm just as excited to see what Tarantino has in store for us when the film hits theaters.

Source: JoBlo.com

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