First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Looks Evil in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’

Inglourious Basterds was one of 2009’s best films, and depending on who you ask (re: me) it’s also writer/director Quentin Tarantino‘s finest film to date. His first real foray into a period piece mixed World War II action and intrigue with memorable characters and performances, sharp wit and a smart script. The Academy Award-nominated result was also his highest grossing film worldwide.

And now he’s back hoping to recreate that success with Django Unchained. Once again he’s pairing high profile actors and a historical setting, but this time his genre mash-up combines the spaghetti western with 70’s era blaxploitation.

The film stars Jamie Foxx as a slave freed by a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) in exchange for help in catching and killing a pair of wanted men. Django’s ultimate goal however is to find his wife (Kerry Washington) who’s fallen into the hands of a dastardly fellow named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) whose plantation, Candie Land, is home to gladiator-like battles between slaves forced to fight for their survival. has just posted the first two pics from the film showing DiCaprio, Waltz and Foxx in character. Christmas Day can’t come soon enough.

No one should expect anything resembling a standard or sober look at slavery from the mind and keyboard of Tarantino so expect his latest to court at least a little bit of controversy. The list of things that should be expected though is pretty long and includes stylized, gratuitous violence, highly inappropriate black humor, bad guys and good guys dying terrible deaths, a fantastic score/soundtrack that borrows liberally riffs on what’s come before and maybe a racial slur or two. Or fifty.

Foxx told EW that the dialogue was part of what appealed to him. “There’s a beautiful way [Tarantino] found for the characters to talk to each other. It’s mindblowing. You’ve never heard it this way. You’ve seen movies deal with slavery — or westerns that never dealt with slavery – do it the safe way. This way is like … wow.”

Also along for the ride are Kurt Russell, Walter Goggins, Sacha Baron Cohen, Don Johnson, RZA, James Remar, Tom Wopat, Anthony LaPaglia, Gerald McRaney, Tom Savini and (shocker) Samuel L Jackson.

Django Unchained hits theaters on Christmas Day.

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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