I admit it…I was ready to seriously dislike Django Unchained. To my mind, Quentin Tarantino hadn’t made a really good film in a while and I’m rather partial to the original 1966 Django. However, it turned out to be Quentin’s best film in ages and a hugely entertaining movie experience, full of great dialogue, tremendous suspense, bloody action and a few good laughs. It was also very, very different indeed to the 60’s flick which starred Franco Nero as an ex-American Civil War soldier finding himself in a town ruled by two warring factions in what was virtually a more brutal semi-remake of A Fistful Of Dollars, though generally not as well made as Sergio Leone’s groundbreaking Western. Though it did quite well overseas despite being banned in the UK, in Italy it was a smash hit, and let to a torrent of unofficial sequels, some good, some bad, and some just ugly. Nero didn’t actually return as the ‘proper’ Django until 1987 with the rather disappointing Django Strikes Again.
Now it seems that the 74 year old Nero, who had a cameo role in Tarantino’s film, is returning to the role once again. Django Lives was actually announced over a year ago, when we learnt that the story will be set in 1915, when the older Django has become, in the words of producer David Hollander: “consultant to silent-movie Westerns… After getting entangled with racketeers, Django fights back, and all hell breaks loose.”
However, since then we heard nothing until now when but we learn that script will be written by John Sayles, a choice that Nero certainly seems to approve of.
“John Sayles is a master of literature. His Lone Star is one of the greatest modern westerns ever shot. He knows how to be exquisitely cultivated and people-oriented at the same time, exactly like another master I’ve worked with, Mr. Orson Welles. And that says a lot.”
I can’t say that I’m much of a fan of the directorial efforts from Sayles that I’ve seen, but I do some of his screenplays especially early ones like The Howling and Battle Beyond The Stars so maybe this could work out very well, while Nero still looks very cool and tough considering his age, and the premise sounds good enough. No director is attached yet, but what’s the betting that Sayles may have a go himself at directing the Fast Draw Films-produced movie?