Quentin Tarantino‘s “Django Unchained” is in the midst of production, under a surprisingly tight veil of secrecy that has prevented any significant leaks coming from the movie (except for some super bland shots of some completely empty sets). To be sure, this is the director’s starriest and arguably most controversial outing yet, a slavery/western/vengeance tale that features a lengthy credit scroll that includes Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kerry Washington, Dennis Christopher, Kurt Russell, Laura Cayouette, Don Johnson, M.C. Gainey, Tom Savini, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony LaPaglia, RZA, Misty Upham, Tom Wopat, James Remar, James Russo, Todd Allen, Rex Linn, Catherine Lambert and Daniele Watts. Phew. And guess what: Tarantino is still adding players to his film.
ScreenCrave recently caught up with writer Michael Bacall — who is enjoying a helluva 2012 so far with the success of “Project X” and the inevitable hit “21 Jump Street” opening this weekend — and he revealed that he has a small role in the movie. “I just did a day on it,” he said, going on to explain how exactly he nabbed the part. “I was at the New Bev when he was doing his series there. And I sat behind him, and didn’t know he was there. And I think he was writing it at the time, and he turned around and kind of explained what the role was, and said ‘that’s you.’ And I said ‘Fuck yeah, dude.’ [laughs]”
Savvy fans know, Bacall turned up in small roles in both “Inglourious Basterds” (Zimmerman) and “Death Proof” (Omar), and it seems Tarantino likes the vibe he brings. But given that lengthy cast list, it’s no shock that many of the names will appear in barely there roles, and indeed, that’s also the case for Tom Wopat (aka Duke Luke from “Dukes Of Hazzard“) who revealed to the Palm Beach Post last month that his part is essentially a set up for a joke.
“He’s a cool cat. We had the best time. We shot with film, which is unheard of, (because) nobody shoots film anymore,” Wopat said. “Tarantino turns out to have been a big fan (of Dukes), and was a big fan of Jim Best, who played Roscoe. It’s just a two-minute scene, all a set-up for a gag. But I’m one of the few people who doesn’t get killed. And when you do his films, you pretty much know you’re gonna die.”
And indeed, that throwback approach has also lit a fire under make up and special effects artist Greg Nicotero. “There are not a lot of special effects. It’s all about his actors and it’s so cinematic for him. We don’t shoot anything digital, he uses film, one camera, we don’t have five cameras shooting. That’s it,” he told MTV in January. “It’s inspiring. It’s inspiring to think about the fact that that’s how movies were made for years and years and years, and I’m not saying that digital technology doesn’t have its positives, but I love that Quentin is old school.”
Sounds like Tarantino has something special cooking again. “Django Unchained” arrives on Christmas Day later this year.