First up, there's Leonardo DiCaprio as merciless Antebellum South slaveowner Calvin Candie, the first balls-out bad guy in DiCaprio's career. You can tell by his goatee that he's evil, and the way he's holding that hammer suggests he's about to casually do something really horrible.
Then, there are our are heroes, the German dentist-turned-bounty-hunter Dr. King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz, and the titular freed slave on a quest to find his beloved wife, Jamie Foxx as Django. Both look absolutely perfect, with King showing a more flamboyant style than might be expected. In the article which accompanied these stills at Entertainment Weekly, Foxx rather wonderfully described Django as, "Richard Roundtree meets Clint Eastwood." Shaft and the Man With No Name – cooler than cool.
Foxx lays out the basics of story, which finds Schultz and Django posing as proprietors of fighting slaves infiltrating Candie's plantation, Candyland, in order to free the lovely Broomhilda. He also describes a bit about the relationship between the two protagonists, saying, “Christoph’s character is a little aloof to what slavery actually is. He’s not familiar with everything, and when he sees atrocities, it’s Greek to him, but Django lets him know this is the way the world is and we got to get used to it. He teaches Django certain things he needs to become a whole man, and [Django] also teaches Christoph that when life deals you these cards, here’s what you’ve got to do.”
“There’s a beautiful way [Tarantino] found for the characters to talk to each other. It’s mindblowing," he explained about the film. "You’ve never heard it this way. You’ve seen movies deal with slavery — or westerns that never dealt with slavery – do it the safe way. This way is like … wow.”
For his Western tale not actually set in the West (his Southern, as he calls it), Tarantino reunites with Waltz, who shot to international acclaim for his turn as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds, and he works for the first time with DiCaprio, who was briefly associated with the Landa role several years back. With Jamie Foxx playing Django, the supporting cast includes a whole bunch of ringers, including Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, James Remar, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tom Wopat, Don Johnson, Tom Savini, and M.C. Gainey.
Django Unchained is scheduled for a holiday release on December 25th of this year.