Quentin Tarantino’s whole career has been very eclectic; his films pull from dozens and sometimes hundreds of different filmic places, mixed into the cinematic Cuisinart that is his brain and presented to you. His movies, even the ones with similar themes or types of people, have felt very different from each other, which is perhaps why it seemed surprising – though not unwelcome – that he should follow-up his 2012 spaghetti-ish western, Django Unchained with another, The Hateful Eight, so quickly. It’s not so surprising if you’re him, though, and a new interview explains why that is.
Speaking with Collider’s David Pollard, the auteur said his latest film began life as a Django Unchained sequel novel. He had originally envisioned several paperback novel adventures of Django, the freed-slave turned bounty hunter played by Jaime Foxx in the movie, taking place either after the film or possibly in the middle, with him and Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz’s character) hunting various bounties. But soon QT decided it would be better as its own thing, with the character of Django eventually turning into the character of Major Warren, as played in Hateful Eight by Samuel L. Jackson.
Because I was introducing such rough characters in this piece, and there would be even more disreputable characters waiting for them [at the haberdashery], at a certain point I realized, ‘well you know what’s wrong with this piece? It’s Django. He needs to go. Because you shouldn’t have a moral center when it comes to these eight characters.’
So, if you’re looking for any one of the film’s titular octet of unsavory characters to be on the nice side, you’re gonna be looking for a long time. Django is a hero despite his violent, revenge-seeking ways; none of these people are that at all. But, it actually makes sense to me given what we’ve seen so far of Major Warren. And a lot of spaghetti westerns were just awful people being awful, without the quick-drawing white hat.
Would you have read a Django spinoff novel? Do you hope he still writes some? Let us know in the comments below!
Image: The Weinstein Company
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!