EXCLUSIVE: ‘Django Unchained’ May Be Quentin Tarantino’s Next, But Is Christoph Waltz Really In It?

Sparse and confounding details surrounding Quentin Tarantino’s latest film are slowly leaking out: the so-called “Django Unchained” is said to be the “Inglourious Basterds” director’s long-awaited Western, and the inclusion of “Django” in the title has led many to believe that this directly ties into “Django” movies of yesteryear. Adding further fuel to that speculation are recent comments from original “Django” star Franco Nero that he’d be appearing in the movie.

Official ties to “Django” and Nero’s casting aren’t confirmed — not yet, at least — but Indie Wire has word from Tarantino’s reps at WME that, yes, a script for “Django Unchained” exists and has been submitted to The Weinstein Company. WME offered the additional detail that Oscar-winning “Basterds” star Christoph Waltz will star in the film: “It’s a western whose lead character is a former slave who is in league with Waltz to save his wife from an evil plantation owner,” they state. If you’re confused, this is what is referred to in the business as “a bingo.”

But is it a bingo? Don’t get us wrong, we’re excited about the idea, but when we spoke with Waltz at the “Water for Elephants” press junket a few weeks ago, he completely denied his involvement in the film.

“I can set the record straight: it’s like a profound misunderstanding that explains the insanity of the Internet,” Waltz told MTV News about rumors of his role in a Tarantino-directed Western. “It’s Franco Nero, in Italy, who’s planning a Spaghetti Western. He said, ’It would be great if we got a director like Quentin Tarantino.’ And immediately, all of the manic bloggers had a version [of the story]. Whatever was the most attractive version was picked. ”

“No, we haven’t talked,” he continued, explaining that he had not discussed a new collaboration with Tarantino at the time. “Quentin is usually working in these spurts. He has to let it ferment for a long time, then he goes [to work] and then we find out.”

So as recently as mid-April, Waltz said he wasn’t involved with Tarantino’s latest. Either he was protecting the plate and covering up his involvement — a maneuver we certainly wouldn’t put past the erstwhile Hans Landa — or things have changed. Or, and this is the possibility that I like the least, he really isn’t in the movie.

There are a lot of balls up in the air with this one, so who’s to say what’s right and what’s wrong just yet. The truth will come out soon. For now, we can all agree on this: if Quentin Tarantino really is reuniting with Christoph Waltz for a Western called “Django Unchained,” especially if Nero is back in the swing of things, well… the word “geekgasm” doesn’t quite cover it. Stay tuned and we’ll bring you more info as we can.

What do you think of the idea behind “Django Unchained”? Do you think Waltz really has a role? Tell us in the comments section and on Twitter!