The panel was interesting, with the affable director explaining that he had been intending to direct a Western for thirteen years. The story, according to Tarantino, is not necessarily one of slavery. He explained that he had just taken a genre that he loved and nudged it into a different direction, adding elements of the Deep South and a black character. Waltz's character, King, is the gunfighter who teaches the know-nothing kid how to be a gunslinger. And that, as we know, is well-worn ground for the genre.
Foxx addressed the movie’s racism and slavery angles, saying, “We're grown up. We're big boys and big girls now. But you expect Quentin to blow the walls off it.”
Christoph Waltz judged his audience with precise German efficieny, using a Star Wars analogy to describe his character Dr King Schultz as Django's Yoda. Tarantino then compared Django to Luke Skywalker.
Samuel L Jackson was not present but Tarantino addressed the rumours as to what his role in the proceedings would be. His character, Stephen, is Calvin Candie's (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) house slave, the man who raised Candie and not a sympathetic character.
Tarantino finished by revealing that he had one more week to shoot, and talked up Jonah Hill’s presence (cast pretty late in proceedings). Tarantino said that Hill and Don Johnson take part in a sequence where their group, the Regulators (akin to the Klu Klux Klan) attempt to assault King and Django. Rather than the violent confrontation you might expect to see, Tarantino suggested that it was one of the funniest sequences he’s ever written.
Tarantino then showed off an 8-minute sizzle reel from the first first half of shooting. The two trailers that have been released will give a pretty good flavour of what the footage included: lots of violence violence and plenty of QT's sharp writing. The standing ovation was automatic.
Django Unchained opens in the UK on January 18 2013.