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Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is the eighth film from the writer and director. There’s not a sequel among them. While he’s had ideas for sequels or spinoffs to his movies before, none of them have yet to make it to the screen. Hateful may actually be as close to a successful sequel as the writer has ever come, as Tarantino has recently revealed the idea for the Western started as a sequel to Django Unchained. The only problem was that eventually, Django didn’t work as a character.
Tarantino made a surprise appearance at the Alamo Drafthouse following a screening of the new movie on Wednesday evening. As part of a post-movie Q&A, the writer of the film spoke about how he started writing the screenplay when he was angry and depressed, a state he had never been in when writing before. Originally titled Django in White Hell, the movie would have put Jamie Foxx’s character in that cold cabin with the rest of the unsavory characters. However, according to Entertainment Weekly, Tarantino said that he eventually came to the conclusion that Django didn’t work in the movie, because the audience would trust him.
All of a sudden it hit me the only thing wrong [with the story] was Django. There should be no moral center. I thought it should be a room of bad guys, and you can’t trust a word anybody says
The influences of Django that started the process are certainly there. Many of Tarantino’s films take place in wildly different time periods and cover significantly different genres. Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight still feel very connected. Django takes place a couple years prior to the American Civil War while Hateful follows shortly after it. They both qualify as westerns, and the two films feel similar in that regard. Tarantino obviously was not trying to make the latter film significantly different.
It certainly would have been a different picture if Jamie Foxx's Django had been part of it. Having seen him before, the audience would have focuses the majority of their attention on him. Instead, what we get in The Hateful Eight is an absolutely superb cast of characters, a who’s who of Tarantino’s favorite collaborators along with a couple of new faces. Since we have no preconceived notions of who any of the players are before the movie starts, we’re left to simply watch what they say and do in order to figure out who everybody is. Django would have certainly changed this dynamic greatly. While it wouldn’t have necessarily impacted the characters’ interaction, it would have influenced the audience greatly.
Would you have rather seen a sequel to Django Unchained, or is the original concept of The Hateful Eight the better way to go?