The trailer for “Django Unchained” is finally here, and if you’re here, you’ve paused the trailer long enough to read this, so thank you.
We here at MTV News are just as obsessed with the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s long-awaited Southern, so we’ve put together the trailer commentary below, and if you’re looking for an even deeper dive, here are the five secrets of the “Django Unchained” trailer:
What’s In A Name?
Tarantino has always filled his movies with some subtle (and not so subtle) references to the movies he admires. The title character in “Django Unchained” owes his name to the rich legacy of other Djangos in film. The original Django appeared in an Italian-made Western from 1966 by director Sergio Corbucci. In the original “Django,” the character is a mysterious drifter who drags a coffin around with him wherever he goes. Naturally, the coffin contains a machine gun. Dozens of other films ripped off the film, trying to repeat the original by featuring a character with the same name, but Corbucci and star Franco Nero only made one other Django movie, a 1987 sequel called “Django 2: il grande ritorno.”
The Hidden Gun
This tricky little pistol shows up twice during the trailer, but expect to see a lot more of it in the actual film. A contraption used by Dr. King Schultz, the hidden gun retracts up into the wearer’s sleeve and pops out when needed for a surprising blast. The device shows up pretty regularly in Westerns, and it even makes an appearance in one of Tarantino’s favorite movies of all time, Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver.”
The Leo Zoom-In
The first time we see Leonardo DiCaprio, Tarantino does a jarring zoom-in on his smug, smiling face. The move comes straight out of the spaghetti Westerns that the style of “Django Unchained” pulls inspiration from. The most notable director of the genre, Sergio Leone, directed four of its most famous films: “Fistful of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars More,” “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” and “Once Upon a Time in the West.” Tarantino has borrowed from Leone and the spaghetti Western aesthetic on other occasions, including nods in “Kill Bill” and “Inglourious Basterds.”
The lucky journalists at Cannes who got a sneak preview of “Django Unchained” left the theater raving about the performance of ’80s TV star Don Johnson. He actually appears in the trailer, right around the two-minute mark, as the Colonel Sanders-esque gentleman on a horse. Johnson has found himself in a series of intriguing roles in recent years, appearing in “Machete” and “Eastbound and Down.” It’s safe to say that “Django Unchained” will continue that trajectory.
Right at the end of the trailer, Tarantino throws in one last Easter egg for hard-core film fans. That man next to Jamie Foxx when he speaks the “D is silent” line? That’s Franco Nero, the original Django.