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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Jamie Foxx

'Django Unchained': Teaser trailer serves up revenge with style

June 6, 2012 |  5:14 pm

Django Unchained
The teaser trailer for "Django Unchained" has been released, offering a first glimpse of Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film about a freed slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx) trying to save his wife from a vicious plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).

True to Tarantino's genre-bending tendencies, the film is styled as a sort of "spaghetti Southern," a revenge tale set in the Deep South but inspired by the westerns of Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci (the latter directed 1966's "Django"). From the looks of the teaser, the film promises heaps of violence, striking set pieces and snappy wordplay.

At one point Foxx, taking up the lead role Will Smith reportedly passed on, spouts a catchphrase that's sure to blow up on Twitter: "The D is silent." He's joined by "Inglourious Basterds" star Christoph Waltz, who plays the German doctor responsible for buying Django's freedom and mentoring him in his new line of work. ("How do you like the bounty-hunting business?" Django is asked at one point. "Kill white folks and they pay you for it? What's not to like?" he replies.)

As with "Basterds," "Django" demonstrates that Tarantino isn't afraid to play in the darker corners of history. Neither, it appears, is DiCaprio. His character, the villain Calvin Candie, is said to be a truly despicable one who gets a kick out of watching slaves fight to the death. Viewers who think of DiCaprio primarily as a heartthrob might be in for a surprise, but his talent could go a long way toward making a vile character compelling.

The film, which opens Christmas Day, also stars Kerry Washington, Don Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson.

See the teaser trailer below.


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Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' close to landing Jamie Foxx as lead

Santa Clarita movie ranches corral Tarantino and other filmmakers

— Oliver Gettell

Photo: Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx in "Django Unchained." Credit: Andrew Cooper / The Weinstein Co.

Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' close to landing Jamie Foxx as lead

June 22, 2011 |  4:45 pm

Jamiefoxx Has Quentin Tarantino found his Django? Jamie Foxx is in talks for the slave-turned-free man lead role in "Django Unchained," a civil rights revenge tale that the Weinstein Co. is co-producing with Sony Pictures, people close to the production who were not authorized to speak on the record said Wednesday. No deal has yet been struck but they say he is the man for the job.

The role is sure to be a controversial one. So much so that Will Smith, who was first offered the part, passed. In similar fashion to Tarantino's last film, "Inglourious Basterds," the writer-director plays with history, this time putting a slave partnered with a German bounty hunter on a quest to retrieve the slave's wife, who has been taken from him.

Tarantino is assembling an impressive cast, one that is likely to include Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson. The script has been making the rounds through Hollywood over the last few months and is filled with Tarantino's trademark wordplay and big, over-the-top set pieces. How Tarantino works with Foxx, who can next be seen in New Line's comedy "Horrible Bosses" on July 8, is a wait-and-see proposition. The actor won an Oscar in 2005 for his portrayal of musician Ray Charles in "Ray."

The Weinstein Co. has set a Christmas 2012 release for  "Django Unchained."

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Jamie Foxx in "Law Abiding Citizen." Credit: John Baer / Overture Films

'Kane & Lynch' struggles to break out of jail

September 24, 2010 |  7:38 pm

EXCLUSIVE: It's hardly an understatement that movies based on video games have had a shaky time out in the marketplace.

Now a new one is having a hard time getting out of the gate.

"Kane & Lynch" seemed like a slam dunk by film-development standards. But uncertainty is mounting for the project. 

Based on the popular third-person multi-platform shooter from Eidos Interactive, the movie sported a commercial premise, telling the story of two death row inmates who break out of jail and embark on a big bank job. The project had also attracted the attention of a number of buzzed-about directors. A second "Kane & Lynch" video game had studios seeing franchise.

And, not insignificantly, Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx were on board for the title roles.

The movie from Avi Lerner's Nu Image/Millennium and Lionsgate (the former is financing, the latter distributing domestically), seemed all ready to start shooting next month, with French up-and-comer Patrick Alessandrin (District 13: Ultimatum") preparing to direct.

But the latest turn has Alessandrin has fallen off the film, according to several sources familiar with the project, forcing producers to go back to the drawing board. "Running Scared" helmer Wayne Kramer and "Italian Job" director F. Gary Gray, who at various points were in talks to take the directing reins, are now back in the mix. Producers are also talking to Antoine Fuqua, who collaborated with Millennium on the crime drama "Brooklyn's Finest." But no deal has been struck.

Maybe most important, a planned start date for October has been pushed. The movie is not likely to start production until the first quarter of 2011 at the earliest.

Officials at Lionsgate and Millennium could not immediately be reached for comment. [Update, Saturday 4:24 p.m.: A Millennium spokeswoman says that "the director has not been chosen" and that a "start date is TBD."]

Some Hollywood executives continue to maintain that video games are a fertile source of development. After all, most games have brand recognition and a dramatic arc, two coveted traits for any film project. (Indeed, the "Resident Evil" and "Lara Croft" franchises have demonstrated the axiom. The former has shown surprising box office life with its latest installment, which is headed for a $200 million take internationally.)

But the difficulties in translating a story form one medium to another has more often than not proved difficult. It's  why movies such as "Prince of Persia" and "Max Payne" have been misses with both fans and a broader audience.

Things may yet turn around. But “Kane & Lynch” is the latest piece of evidence that it probably won’t happen quickly or cleanly.

--Steven Zeitchik and Ben Fritz


Photo: Kane & Lynch. Credit: Eidos Interactive


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