Filled with "spaghetti surrealism," Django Unchained is a buddy comedy, slave narrative, love story, blood-soaked action flick and tale of a master and his apprentice.
In other words, it's a trademark Quentin Tarantino movie.
The iconic indie director appeared at Comic-Con with his cast, including stars Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, and talk about his latest movie 13 years in the making.
It was also announced today that Jonah Hill just joined the cast, and Tarantino is also teaming with DC Comics to publish a five-issue comic-book adapation beginning in November of Django Unchained, which the director finds to be one of his "biggest adventures" alongside the Kill Bill movies.
"I'm always stuck with adapting my own script everyday," Tarantino said. "So what is great about the comic is that it will include the entire first draft of the script. All the material that didn't make the movie. And I'm really excited about it."
In the film out Christmas Day, dentist/bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) breaks Django (Foxx) out of his slave chain gang in the Antebellum South and they team up to go after a group of brothers who've kidnapped Django's wife. They also run afoul of an evil plantation owner by the name of Calvin Candie, played with over-the-top glee by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Schultz teaches Django how to be a bounty hunter, but when they both are surrounded by the racial hatred of the time period, Django helps Schultz through it.
"Frankly, to tell you the truth it can't be more nightmarish than real life," Tarantino says. "It can't be more outrageous than in real life. It was (messed) up.
"Reality and historical aspect fits into the biggest canvas you could think of for this movie."
Working with DiCaprio, Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Don Johnson "was was like waking up in the morning and going to an all-star game," Foxx said. But at the beginning, Tarantino did pull Foxx aside and said, "I'm worried you can't get to that slave. You live your life as Jamie Foxx -- how do you strip everything away and get to that slave?"
"He said, 'Throw that out the door right now so we can get to the work,' " Foxx said.
The Oscar-winning actor thought back to growing up in racially charged Texas and the experiences he had being called various racial epithets.
"It was something I had to deal with coming from the South," Foxx explained. "But by having that done to me, I was able to grasp what was being said in the script. I knew because it had been done to me.
"When the project becomes magical, that means certain parts in your life parallel the story. I used it to my advantage."
In the relationship between Schultz and Django, Tarantino also explores "that experienced gunfighter who teaches the no-nothing kid how to shoot a gun, how to kill," he said, and the next step from Steve McQueen and Brian Keith in the 1966 Western Nevada Smith all the way to Yoda and Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back.
"They are a team and it changes, of course, but whether it's a teacher or a father figure, I don't know," Waltz says.
Why is Schultz able to forge this bond with Django? "I don't care about other white men," Waltz said, smiling.
The German actor, who won a best supporting actor Oscar for Taraninto's Inglourious Basterds, was impressed with Tarantino's tweaking of the Spaghetti Western genre, popularized by filmmakers such as Sergio Leone in the 1960s.
This is a different relationship than someone picking up a slave and rescuing him. This is a unique and fabulous relationship that's forged in fantastic adventures," Waltz said.
"I find it sensational that Italian directors import a genre to Italy to forge a new thing, and an American director takes the new thing and brings it back to America."