Live: Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' at Comic-Con

Django Unchained
Read our live coverage of the much-anticipated panel for Quentin Tarantino's new movie Django Unchained, direct from Comic-Con in San Diego.

Hello and welcome to day three of Comic-Con. I'm coming to you live and direct from an incredibly packed Hall H on what is probably the most fanwanky movie day this room has ever witnessed.

Today we have not only a panel for Quentin Tarantino's new flick Django Unchained, but also a highly-anticipated session for The Hobbit and, quite possibly, an even more anticipated session for Iron Man 3.

We begin though with Django, Tarantino's western project that is slated for release on Christmas Day. Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave freed by bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), who makes him an offer: kill the notorious Brittle Brothers in exchange for freedom and assistance in rescuing his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the ruthless Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Note that all times in this blog are Pacific, which is eight hours behind the UK and three hours behind East Coast.


12.43pmAnd that's a wrap for the panel and for me for now. If there's anything noteworthy from Jake Gyllenhaal's panel in the next hour you can find it on my Twitter, otherwise I'll see you in around three hours for The Hobbit!

12.42pmTarantino confirms that Sacha Baron Cohen is not in Django and that his role was not taken by Jonah Hill. "He was gonna be another character but we ended up not doing it."

12.41pmKill Bill 3? "I'm not sure if there's going to be a KB3. I was always going to see what happens ten years on. So we'll see. It;s a work in progress."

12.40pmTarantino is talking a lot about classic films. We're running significantly over but whatever, this is Quentin Tarantino.

12.37pmTarantino is now talking about a film Johnson did in the '70s and how he held a screening of it for the cast. "That was fun," notes Johnson sarcastically.

12.34pmNext question. What cinematic references did Tarantino give the actors for their research? He says he gave Washington, "the super inquisitive one", a few different films from the '30s and '40s that dealt with the antebellum south. He namechecks The Flame of New Orleans with Marlene Dietrich and The Spoilers, also with Dietrich.

12.32pmTarantino: "She's stuck in the tower and she's done everything she can to escape but can't. She needs the love of her life to come and burn this motherfucker down!"

12.31pmTarantino says there is "an aspect of Broomhilda is a princess in exile". He describes Leo as the "evil King who has ruined the countryside".

12.30pmShe praises him for writing strong, intelligent women and asks for more info on those characters in this film, and asks him to advise other writers on how to do it. "One of the things in my work, I don't really do family dramas, I do genre cinema, be it action films or kung-fu films. In the history of genre cinema, there's quite a history of female avengers... I just dig strong chicks, I don't know how to write it any other way than that."

12.29pmAudience Q&As. First woman is dressed as The Bride. Tarantino flirts with her.

12.28pmAre there any characters in this film that are forebearers to other Tarantino characters? "There is one, but I don't want to say. I will say that Broomhilda von Shaft and Django will have a baby, then that baby will have a baby and so on and so on.... and then John Shaft will be born."

12.26pmQuestion about Jonah Hill's role. Tarantino: "We shot his stuff last week. He's in a sequence with Don. They're not the KKK because that came about after the civil war to keep black folks in line, but the predecessors to the KKK was a group called The Regulators, who were there to keep slaves in line and terrorise them basically. It's a regulator raid being led against Djaango and Schultz. It starts off like it's going to be scary and intense, but then there's this sequence that is the funniest thing I've ever written. It's one of those realities that's been starting us in the face when it comes to KKKism that no-one's ever been addressed. It's up there with the colour names in Reservoir Dogs."

12.24pmThere is one week left of shooting, apparently.

12.23pmTarantino says that as he wrote the script, he realised that Django's journey mirrors the German story of Siegfried rescuing Brynhildr.

12.22pmWashington: "This film scared the shit out of me. When the ball started rolling, I was a little bit paralysed about how to step into this terrible world that Broomhilda had to survive in." She adds that she focused on learning her German and how to horse ride.

12.20pmWashington reveals that in the script originally, it calls for her character to whistle but she admitted she couldn't, so they turned it into her singing the German lullaby.

12.19pmThe moderator asks Waltz how he worked with Washington and how her German was. "She learnt it by singing children's songs. She sang one of the most beautiful lullabies that exists in the German culture, from the early nineteenth century, which is right for the period too. She started singing it and I almost started crying. So there was nothing to coach."

12.18pmWashington plays Broomhilda von Schaft. "She got her name the way most people of African-American descent did, and that's by the people who owned her. She got her name from a German family." She adds that she has to speak German in the family.

12.15pmJohnson says to get into the role, he did a lot of reading about the midwest. "I just happened to be reading about a lot of this historical stuff, and Quentin and I had talked about working together for number of years. When he mentioned Big Daddy, I thought he was a character I could step into and make him Big Daddy. Make him big and flamboyant. Not to diminish the seriousness of the time and the period, this character is one who where if you can find something to love... he's funny and bad."

12.14pmDon Johnson plays Spencer Gordon Bennet, another plantation owner. "I'd prefer it if you called me Big Daddy! Mine is the kind of gentle, kind plantation owner."

12.13pmTarantino: "One of the things that became interesting when I started writing this characters is in action film terms, the swashbuckle, where you have the cavalier swordsman out there but fighting the king. That's what you have with these plantation owners, they're the kings of their properties. Inside their property they have slaves and all their families, who were all like the subjects of the King."

12.11pmStephen (Sam L Jackson) is the house slave. Tarantino: "It's funny making it about the three of them. When you had slavery, you could have the equivalent of big corporations today but they'd just be families. A whole family could corner the entire market, because they had enough slaves to do it. Leo's character inherited this candyland. There's Stephen the manservant and Billy Crash, who are the two CEOs. Stephen runs everything to do with the house and the farm. So actually they don't have that many scenes together, the Billy and Stephen relationship is a good one because together they run the house and farm together."

12.10pmGoggins plays one of DiCaprio's henchmen. He says: "This is the coolest experience in a number of cool experiences I've had as an artist. But my character, Crash, is a ruthless dude. But he's from a working man's perspective. He's not the man but he works for the man. He's a tough cookie."

12.09pmWell that was great. A lot more of the comedic element to it rather than the violence though. Waltz's character is superb.

11.59amClip time. Tarantino: "Before we did the trailers, we did an industry sizzle reel, about eight minutes long. It's done in the order of the trailer. There's more footage, tells the first half more in order." See you in eight I guess!

11.58amTarantino: "There is an interesting backstory to Christoph's character that's not told in the movie or set up in the movie, but makes sense. He's a fugitive in Germany that's brought to America."

11.56amWhat is it about Schultz that makes him more enlightened than other white characters? Tarantino: "As savvy as he is about the west, is as unsavvy as he is about the realities and cruelties that exist in the south. In the first half of the story, Schultz is the mentor, teaching Jamie how to read and so on, but when the actually get to the thick of it in Mississippi, it's Schultz who's caught short. But Django's not, he knows this world."

11.55amTarantino: "I didn't do a movie about a slave. The character starts off as a slave. I was interested in a slave narrative. To me one of the fun things about telling the story was to take the western genre we know so well and place it in the antebellum south and place a black character in it. So take the western cliches and place them in the south. Dr Schultz takes that numnuthin kid and teaches him how to be a fighter."

11.54amWaltz continues: "Dr Schultz and Django are a team and yes, the dynamic changes over the course, but whether that's a father figure or a teacher, I dunno."

11.52amWaltz, who plays the guy who rescues Django and becomes a father figure to him: "He said 'rescue'. That's not a rescue. Dr Schultz needs Django. This is a different relationship than someone picking up a slave and rescuing him... this is a unique and fabulous relationship that is forged in the case of fantastic adventures. I find it sensational that Italian directors import a genre to Italy to forge spaghetti westerns, then an American director takes the new thing and brings it back to America." He's waffling.

11.50amAny hard times he drew on? Foxx: "Growing up in Texas, there ... it was racially charged. Some of the experiences I went through as a kid, I expressed to [QT]. Being called a nigger as a kid by grown people, was something I had to deal with. By having that done to me, I was able to grasp what was being said in the script. I had certain parallels growing up that also paralleled Django's story."

11.49amWas it easy to get into the mindset of Django? Foxx: "Getting there was really a journey because at the start of this process, QT pulled me aside and said 'I'm worried you can't get to that slave'. He said 'throw your ego out of the door right now so we can get to the work'." Tarantino: "I remember we had a talk on our first day of rehearsals. When you're introduced to Django you see him on a chain gang being lead from Mississippi to Texas. When we start, he's sixth from the seventh on the left in the chain gang. He needs to get to that point from nothing."

11.48amWill it be controversial? Foxx: "It is but we've grown up too. With Tarantino you expect a different ball game. The script alone was blazing through Hollywood before it even got going. You expect that from him, and actually when we started shooting it, it didn't fall away but you watched Quentin putting together this fantastic film with fantastic people."

11.46amHe adds: "You can't be more surrealistic than it was in real life. It was fucked. Up. It was bad and frankly it's surrealistic - it's unimaginable to think of the pain and the suffering that went on in this country. Hence making it perfect for a spaghetti western adaptation."

11.44amHow long has this idea been brewing? Tarantino: "About 13 years, kind of altogether. I always wanted to do a western. Since spaghetti westerns have always been my favourite, I always thought it would be in the universe of spaghetti - the violence, cool music... The germ of the whole idea was a slave who becomes a bounty hunter. From that point on, it became a love story, but that initial idea was a slave who becomes a bounty hunter and hunts white men. Before the civil war."

11.43amThe moderator mentions that Samuel L Jackson and Leo can't make it, before introducing "the grand master of this circus" Tarantino!

11.41amOut come the cast: Jamie Foxx, Walton Goggins, Don Johnson, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington. No Leo... boo!

11.39amThe moderator for this panel, Anthony Reykjavik - Reykjavik? Reykjavik - of EW comes out and describes the film as a "twisted, bloody fairytale" with a "great beating heart".

11.37amMan has just reiterated said point.

11.36amThat's what she said.

11.35amMan has come up to me and instructed to close my laptop FULLY when trailers play. I won't do that because it'll break the internet connection - I'll just insert a sneaky finger.

11.33amAnyone who followed my blogs yesterday will know about the "tight snake" problem around the men's toilet area. I'm pleased to report that a more formal tight snake has been created through designated lines on the floor.

11.32amPanels in Hall H tend to run less than an hour, by the way, for reasons of getting people in and out. They tend to start a bit late and finish a bit early.

11.30amAfter this, later on, there are panels for The Hobbit (around 11.30pm UK time) and Iron Man 3 (around 2am UK time).

11.30amI'd guess that anyone who joined the queue after maybe 6am will still be sitting outside, disappointed.

11.29amWe were handed 3D glasses as we entered the room, which means footage and trailers ahoy!

11.28amTarantino will be here today for certain, as well as "members of the cast".

11.27amAfter queueing for six hours, I'm finally here in Hall H just in time and ready to go!

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