“What?” You may be asking. “An actual sequel to a Tarantino film?” No, not quite – though depending on your film tastes, you may find the actual news much more exciting. This new film, titled Django Lives, is not a sequel to Quentin Tarantino’s western/blacksploitation tribute Django Unchained. Instead, it’s a follow-up to the original 1966 Django.
For those of you interested and thinking you might check out Lives after only seeing Unchained, keep in mind Tarantino’s film was more of an homage than a remake. In fact, aside from lead characters who share the same name, themes of revenge, and some standout gun fights, the original and Unchained have little in common. The original Django was an Italian film riding the wave of popularity spaghetti westerns (cowboy movies made by Italian filmmakers) were experiencing thanks to Sergio Leone’s “Dollars Trillogy,” A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The star of Django, Italian actor Franco Nero actually made a cameo appearance in Unchained - he’s the guy who asks Jamie Foxx’s character if he knows how to spell the name “Django” (the “D” is silent). Nero’s iteration of the Django character wasn’t a freed slave, but a (white) former Union soldier.
There were a number of Django sequels, homages, and rip-offs (at least thirty) but Django Lives will have the distinction of being only the third film in which Nero reprises his role – after the 1987 sequel, Django 2. The film was actually announced last year, but only now do we have some details about the plot. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “The new film will be set in 1915, with Nero playing the role of an older Django working as a consultant to producers of silent movie westerns who gets involved with racketeers.”