Saturday, September 30, 2023

Franco Nero’s idea on his appearance in “Django Unchained”

 Fandom Wire

By Nishanth

September 9, 2023

“It haunted him”: Quentin Tarantino Shut Down Original Django Actor’s Idea for $426M Jamie Foxx Movie That Led to One Wet Dream for Western Fans.

Quentin Tarantino’s tribute to the Spaghetti Western genre came in the form of the Jamie Foxx starrer Django Unchained. The film follows Foxx as the titular Django, a freed slave a few years before the American Civil War, who becomes a bounty hunter and searches for the love of his life. The film was a huge success, earning over $426 million at the box office.

While the film has a star-studded cast with actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson, true blue Western fans were elated when they saw the original Django, Franco Nero make a cameo appearance. The actor has only two scenes but his impact is amazing. Nero once mentioned that he had a totally different idea for his cameo, which could alter the course of the narrative.

Django Unchained was the second film in Quentin Tarantino’s series of revisionist history films, where he looked at key moments in world history and added his own sense of poetic justice to them. The other entries in his series were Inglorious Basterds and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

Tarantino mentioned that he wanted to look at slavery but not in the usual dramatic way. He chose to set the film in the Deep South of America and add a Spaghetti Western style to it. In an interview with the Telegraph, he said,

“I want to do them like they’re genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it’s ashamed of it, and other countries don’t really deal with because they don’t feel they have the right to.”

The director has always been inspired by Spaghetti Westerns, which is seen in his films from time to time. He used many musical pieces composed by Ennio Morricone, the composer behind Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy. One of Tarantino’s inspirations was director Sergio Corbucci’s films, especially the original Django, which starred Franco Nero. He was also inspired by Corbucci’s Il Grande Silenzio.

Sergio Corbucci’s films were one of the foundations of the Spaghetti Western genre along with Sergio Leone’s films starring Clint Eastwood. Django spawned many unofficial sequels and iterations of the classic character. 

Quentin Tarantino has mentioned that he was a huge fan of the original Django and admired lead actor Franco Nero since the age of fourteen. The duo reportedly met in 2009, where Tarantino expressed his admiration and deep knowledge of the Django lore.

Franco Nero mentioned about the meeting in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter,

“We had lunch in Rome and he told me all the story, that he first saw Django when he was 14, when he was working in a video store. He knew practically all my work, he recited lines from my movies, and the music from my movies. He knew almost all of them.”

Tarantino finally pitched the idea of Django Unchained to Nero in 2011. While the actor agreed to feature in the film, he mentioned that he had his own idea for a Django film. He said,

“My idea is that Jamie Foxx, through the movie, had a vision of a horseman dressed in black, coming toward the camera. It haunted him. Until the very end, then there’s the horseman — that is me — and the camera pulls back and there’s a young black boy, and a black mother, who looks up and says “That’s your father,” and I would give him some advice, like “Fight for freedom,” or something like that. Quentin said he would think about it, but in the end, he didn’t go for the idea.”

As mentioned, Tarantino chose to go with his iteration which eventually made it to the final cut. Nero stars as a Mandingo owner who meets Jamie Foxx’s Django on Leonardo DiCaprio’s estate. He has a nice callback to his original character, which became a subtle yet impactful part of the film.

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