CCI 2012: Tarantino Crashes “Before Watchmen” Panel to Announce “Django” Comic

During a panel involving the writers and artists of the “Watchmen” prequel, “Before Watchmen”, Jim Lee hopped on stage and introduced the one and only Quentin Tarantino. Instead of talking more about “Before Watchmen”.

Tarantino announced that his upcoming film, Django Unchained, will be adapted to a 5-issue mini-series that will serve as a direct adaptation of the first draft of the screenplay.

Tarantino had this to say about the mini-series:

“I always loved Western comics in particular, but one of the things I’m actually excited about is Django Unchained is an epic…A lot of things don’t make the movie because they’re too effing big. There’s always this aspect that the script is this big, literary piece, and I’m conforming it to make it a movie. In the comic book? It’s the entire script. The comic will literally be the first draft of the script!”

This is some pretty awesome news that reminds me a lot of Southland Tales, a film that was told in six parts, the first three being solely through a graphic novel. I’ve always been interested in reading Tarantino scripts because they end up looking more like novels than they do movies. For instance the Kill Bill screenplay had countless notes and tangents that went so far as to make the script look like a book. The art will surely be a sensory overload and the quick, witty dialogue should translate well into panels and chapters.

But, at the official Django Unchained panel that took place in the famous Hall H, the crowd was wild and ready with tons of questions for the cast of the film and the man himself. A lot was answered but not too much was spoiled as everything from Tarantino calling a fan dressed in the Bride’s yellow jumpsuit sexy to Jamie Foxx relating the story of Django to his own childhood was revealed.

A couple other points I found fascinating included Tarantino’s near obsession with ensuring that all of his female characters are strong and kick-ass. Some of the most powerful female characters have come from Tarantino movies. The Bride, Jackie Brown, Mia Wallace, the girls from Death Proof, and Shoshanna DreyfussEven the woman with the bit part in Reservoir Dogs had the strength to shoot Mr. Orange after she was shot in the chest. Tarantino loves and respects women, and has always given them the opportunity to be as bad as the big boys. He had this to say during the panel:

“I just dig strong chicks,” he says.  “I don’t know how to write them any other way.”  He goes on to say that as the guy who wrote Kill Bill, he’d like to see the black woman kicking ass in Django Unchained, but that’s just not this story.  If this is a fairy tale, then Candie is the evil king, and she’s “the princess in exile and can’t get out.”  When we finally catch up with her character after seeing her in fantasy and memory moments from Django, Broomhilda has just tried to escape and is now being punished.  She needs the love of her life to come “and burn this motherf***er down!”  Washington adds that Tarantino doesn’t write “strength for the strength.  He writes true characters…It’s what makes this character strong?”

The one thing I really love about this film is its against type casting. Leonardo DiCaprio never gets to play the villain and Christoph Waltz never gets to play the good guy. Here, the roles are reversed and we get to see some of our favorite actors do things they might not be entirely comfortable with. After winning an Oscar for Inglourious Basterds, Christoph Waltz returns to Tarantino once again after a surprisingly lackluster post-Basterds career. That’s not to say all the movies he was in are bad, but they’re not that great either. Still, he elevated every one he was in, and I’m excited to see how he’ll work with the rest of the cast now that he’s in familiar territory.

You can read the entire summary of the panel right here.

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