Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Pitch Meeting: “Django Unchained”
OK, everybody here? Here’s the concept: a slave becomes a bounty hunter, earns his freedom, then frees his wife, a slave. We’re doing it as a spaghetti western, with laughs.
Leo, you’re the slave owner, Monsieur Candie. The name of your plantation: Candie Land. (Pause for laughter to subside)
Jamie gets top billing, but Leo, you’re the man, you know that. We don’t introduce your character until the halfway point. When we get to the plantation, where Jamie tracks his wife, you’re watching two giant slaves try to break each others’ necks, the whole Mandingo thing, and baby, you’re lovin’ it. You chew the scenery. Play it gay if you want, I don’t care. Near the end, you get to threaten to hit the slave wife over the head with a hammer. Awesome, man, just awesome.
Jamie, you’re the hero, dude. Early music is a rip-off of Ennio Morricone, but when you start kicking ass we go gangsta. You get to take revenge on every slave owner that ever lived, in the real world or anyone’s imagination. It all comes down in a scene near the end where you blow the guts out of half the white men in Mississippi like a machine gun in a sausage factory. More guts flying around than all the movies I ever made put together—in one scene.
Juicy roles for everyone. Sam, you’re the villain behind the villain. You are to Leo what Amy Adams is to Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master.” You’re house n______ and puppetmaster. You’ve read the scene where you stand by Leo’s side at the dinner table and echo everything he says. Then the next scene when he comes in the library and you’re sitting down swirling a brandy. You don’t get up, and you tell him what’s what. You are the man, Sam.
Christoph, you get the first half of the movie with Jamie. You get to play this weird German bounty hunter with a bogus accent posing as a dentist with a wagon and a giant tooth mounted on a spring on top (more laughter), and every time you talk the script falls flat, but du bist der Mann, baby, and I’m counting on you to carry the first hour. You see a black man torn to pieces by dogs while all the white crackers laugh, and then you feel bad about it, but you get to kill Leo before you’re blown away, so it’s OK.
And Kerry, baby, all you have to do is smolder and suffer and be your sexy self, girl. Because with all the irony, the audience is going to want someone to care for and get scared for, and you, baby, are that victim.
Gonna be a lot of fun, guys. Any questions?
The studio head raised his hand:
Quentin baby, you are the man. I love you, baby. Django’s going to be huge. But Quentin, one question: Can you have it ready for Christmas? It feels like a Christmas movie.