Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django Unchained stars Academy AwardÂ®-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy AwardÂ®-winner Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles â€“ dead or alive.
Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the Southâ€™s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.
Django and Schultzâ€™s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy AwardÂ®-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of â€œCandyland,â€ an infamous plantation. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy AwardÂ®-nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candieâ€™s trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival.
Written and directed by Academy AwardÂ®-winner Quentin Tarantino,Django Unchained is produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone. The executive producers are Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Michael Shamberg, Shannon McIntosh, and James Skotchdopole.Â Django UnchainedÂ wasÂ released in the U.S. on December 25, 2012, and internationally by Sony Pictures.
The filmâ€™s journey to the big screen began over ten years ago, when writer- director Quentin Tarantino first thought of the filmâ€™s main character, Django. â€œThe initial germ of the whole idea was a slave who becomes a bounty hunter and then goes after overseers that are hiding out on plantations,â€ Tarantino recalls. â€œI just started writing, and Django presented himself to me. At the beginning he just was who he was â€“ the sixth slave from the seventh on a chain gang line. But he just kept revealing himself to me more and more as I wrote.â€
AlthoughÂ Django Unchained takes place in the Antebellum South, Tarantino found that Djangoâ€™s story might best be represented as a Western. â€œIâ€™ve always wanted to do a Western. I like all kinds of Westerns, but since Spaghetti Westerns have always been my favorite, I thought that the day I do one, it would be in that Sergio Corbucci universe,â€ Tarantino says.
For Tarantino, Westerns represented grand, masterful depictions of good and evil. He found that the genreâ€™s scope and structure were fitting for this particular story of one manâ€™s struggle to infiltrate a notorious plantation in order to rescue his wife. â€œIt canâ€™t be more nightmarish than it was in real life. It canâ€™t be more surrealistic than it was in real life. It canâ€™t be more outrageous than it was in real life,â€ Tarantino explains. â€œItâ€™s unimaginable to think of the pain and the suffering that went on in this country, making it perfect for a Spaghetti Western interpretation. The reality fits into the biggest canvas that you could think of for this story.â€