SAN DIEGO — Quentin Tarantino and the cast of his upcoming “Southern” flick, “Django Unchained,” took the stage in Hall H to assure San Diego Comic-Con that, yes, the “D” is silent. After rolling out the sizzle reel that played for industry insiders at Cannes, the panel took questions and talked all things “Django.” Here’s what we learned:
The writer-director has always been a fan of obscure references and borrowing from his favorite genres, but “Django Unchained” marks Tarantino’s first official Western. Of course, it’s not the kind of Western you’re familiar with. Tarantino told the crowd in Hall H that the germ of the idea that became “Django Unchained” occurred to him 13 years ago, and began simply as the story of a slave who becomes a bounty hunter and kills white people. He said wanted to set his Western in a surreal world, and he chose the antebellum South because it was the most surreal and cruel period in American history.
Don Johnson Prefers “Big Daddy”
The eight-minute sizzle reel featured the general public’s first look at the Southern not-quite-a-gentleman played by Don Johnson. His appearance in the reel was short but satisfied us with enough Southern twang and a killer white suit. Johnson even corrected the moderator when he referred to the actor as “Don Johnson.” He said he prefers “Big Daddy.” Johnson’s inspiration for the drawl? Foghorn Leghorn.
Jonah Hill’s Role
The actor was the final castmember added to an already star-studded ensemble, but reports announcing the casting didn’t include a character description. Tarantino informed the audience that Hill will be playing a Regulator, a member of a proto-KKK that attempts to hunt down Django and Dr. King Schultz. The director said Hill’s scene is one of the funniest he’s ever written, up there with the color-naming sequence from “Reservoir Dogs.”
The “Django” Connection
Tarantino has famously connected the worlds of his movies through related characters and hidden references. When asked by a fan, the director said one character would be related to the interconnected world of Tarantino movies. He wouldn’t reveal who, but he did suggest that Django and his wife, Broomhilda, are the ancestors of one bad mutha — John Shaft.
“Django Unchained” still has one more week of filming before Tarantino heads into post-production, so he’s not too sure what will be next for him. He did say that “Kill Bill, Vol. 3″ is still a possibility, but he wanted to wait 10 years after the original to consider it.
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