Director Quentin Tarantino came down to San Diego Comic-Con today, for a Hall H presentation of his new Western Django Unchained, alongside cast members Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Don Johnson, Kerry Washington, and Walton Goggins. One of the more intriguing things revealed during the panel is that the filmmaker believes this may be a prequel to Shaft.
Kerry Washington plays Brunhilde von Shaft, the wife of Jamie Foxx's Django who he's trying to rescue from the nefarious slave trader Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). The filmmaker revealed that he believes Brunhilde is actually an ancestor of Shaft, the iconic character played by Richard Roundtree in the original 1971 film, and by Tarantino regular Samuel L. Jackson in the 2000 remake. The filmmaker also mentioned that, even though this is set in the 19th Century, there is a character that ties into his overall cinematic universe, although he would not reveal who exactly it is.
Jamie Foxx also revealed that he drew upon "certain parallel experiences" while growing up in Texas to play the freed slave Django. Don Johnson, on the other hand, studied the animated character Foghorn Leghorn to get his accent just right to play Big Daddy. Walton Goggins' character was compared to Basil Rathbone, a "schemer who has the king's ear." Christoph Waltz also revealed that his character, King Schultz, does not "rescue" Django from slavery, but he needs him.
Quentin Tarantino also mentioned that most Westerns hardly ever mention slavery, which is why he believes his movie puts a fresh spin on the genre. He also revealed that the scene he shot with Jonah Hill was one of the funniest scenes he has ever directed.