Leonardo DiCaprio in the ‘Django Unchained’ teaser trailer: too campy or just right?

Christoph Waltz Jamie Foxx

Confession time, y’all: Quentin Tarantino is my favorite director in the entire universe, and I was very ashamed for doubting his judgment after the commercial failure of Grindhouse when he really pulled off Inglourious Basterds on a (near) masterful level. For quite awhile, I was really nervous about how Basterds would turn out, but once I saw that movie’s teaser trailer, all fears were immediately dispelled. So I was pretty pumped for the eventual arrival of a trailer for Django Unchained, but now I find myself somewhat deflated.

The new teaser trailer for Django Unchained debuted last night even though the movie doesn’t come out until Christmas Day. First off, it seems way too early for a teaser trailer because — just last month — QT was still attempting to resolve some casting issues left by the void of Sacha Baron Cohen. Granted, Cohen was slated for a role that’s something of a cameo in the vein of Mike Myers’ part in Inglourious Basterds, but it still seems like a big rush to the trailer altar to get something (anything?) ready to play in front of the big summer movies. Promotion is everything these days where movies are concerned, but I just don’t know here. Indeed, this trailer seems like a rushed product, which would make sense because, according to Paste Magazine, this trailer is essentially “an edited version of the ten minutes of footage Tarantino premiered at Cannes” just a couple of weeks ago. Dare I say that the tragic loss of QT’s long-time editor, the amazing Sally Menke, has already had a signficant effect on QT’s output? Check out the trailer, and we’ll discuss below:

For those unfamiliar with the plot of Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx plays the titular Django, who is a freed slave that discovers his wife (Kerry Washington) has been captured by slave owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Django is aided by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz, actually playing a sort-of-good guy for once), a German bounty hounter. The trailer’s declaration of “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of vengeance” certainly will satisfy many fans of QT’s style while allowing him to also make a mark upon the Western genre with a Southern twist. Honestly, I’m not sure whether I like this trailer or not, but I’m hoping that Tarantino will prove me wrong again. Part of the problem is that I’m not much of a DiCaprio fan and have always found his acting to be overrated. Here he’s mugging it up so much for the camera that it’s hard to take the entire trailer seriously, and I think QT has been a bit too obvious with his choice of music as well. Hopefully, the film’s further promotion will be more promising than this mess. Don’t break my heart, QT!

Leonardo DiCaprio

Oh and … Christoph drinking a very important beverage at a very important table during an obviously important scene in the movie? Oh Tarantino, you so crazy.

Christoph Waltz Jamie Foxx

Christoph Waltz Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx

Photos courtesy of AllMoviePhoto

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55 Responses to “Leonardo DiCaprio in the ‘Django Unchained’ teaser trailer: too campy or just right?”

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  1. Lizzie says:

    I thought Leo looked great in this. Very…..free. He doesn’t look constipated like when he has his ‘serious’ face on.
    Loved the first shot he was in….the smile…all looked so different to what he usually does. I’m excited.

    • Naye in VA says:

      thats what i thought. i like ironic humor on him

    • Maguita says:

      I am so glad that Leo is finally stepping away from all those dreary, frustrated, and aged characters like J. Edgar!!!

      Time to play naughty with a bit of lightheartedness.

      And this trailer looks good, even interesting, I mean, it’s Tarantino y’all, he is bound to have a very specific message and twisted point of view on slavery, which I cannot wait to discover.

      Cheers to the man who had the balls to rewrite history, and shred Hitler to ground-bloody-meaty smithereens with a machine gun!

  2. David says:

    I am hopeful but not sure.

  3. Eve says:

    It wouldn’t be Tarantino if it wasn’t campy.

  4. celine says:

    the music is great but it doesn’t look as funny as ib. i don’t really like jamie as the lead. he just isn’t quentinish.

    • Naye in VA says:

      when he takes himself seriously he isnt. if he channels his early career i think he could get tarantino down pat

  5. Mia 4S says:

    Wow, love me some Tarantino…but that is pretty campy! I also hate Oscar talk this early, it usually jinxes an actor and/or film. Maybe it will just be a good time at the movies and not award worthy? Would that be so terrible? Although the thought of this and something like the Dark Knight Rises up for best picture is too good to pass up. Half the Academy’s heads would explode!

  6. Jess says:

    I didn’t see the Cannes bit, so this is my first video of the movie and I think it looks freakin’ awesome! Christoph is amazing (he made Inglorious Bastards) and I really like Jamie Foxx as Django (he can get on my nerves sometimes). I don’t love or hate Leo but I agree his piece seems a bit campy. That’s not stopping me, though, from loving the trailer as a whole. Can’t wait to see the movie!

  7. Kennedy says:

    This movie looks bonkers in the best way possible. Between this and Gatsby, Leo may finally get his Oscar. His accent in Gatsby was throwing me off (he doesn’t do accents well with an exception of The Departed and MAYBE Blood Diamond) but he looks spot on here. Villains and victims always win supporting Oscars… it’s science.

  8. nina says:

    i have no faith in tarantino anymore, he just turned into a mainstream director, only looking for big names, big money and not talented actor or an interesting plot… inglorious basterds is a joke for everyone who has seen his early films..
    tarantino, to me, officially morphed into a douche long time ago

    • Nakli says:

      Exactly! I don’t know why Basterds is considered to be his masterpiece…wait…that was QT claiming for himself. Basterds was a joke. For me Kill Bill was the last good movie that QT made and I know a lot many people who loathe Kill Bill too. They all stop at Jackie Brown.

    • couldn't help it says:

      not to mention he “borrows” characters, plots, and music from older obscure films and slaps that QT look on it. Is Django supposed to be a remake of the original Django?

    • Nakli says:

      @Jackie – Basterds was redeemed to a large extent because of Waltz. I was embarrassed to see Brad’s acting in Basterds. I must however confess that I liked the primary plot of the movie – rewriting history to kill Hitler. That was a great tease, imo, but QT got lost in his own hype of how awesome he is and derailed the movie.

  9. Ainsley says:

    The trailer doesn’t give me much, but I’m excited to see Leo play a villain. I usually like QT movies so I’ll check it out when it’s released. Not very Christmasy!

  10. Lairen says:

    I haven’t seen all of QT’s films, so maybe I’m missing something. Could somebody explain what is crazy about Christoph drinking at a table?

    • njnick says:

      He did it with Brad Pitt and BJ Novack in Inglorious Bastards.

      • Lairen says:

        Ah, thank you. I try to wait until I can watch QT’s movies for the first time on television, because then the ultraviolence often gets censored out (I can’t handle it); I haven’t seen this one yet.

  11. Day says:

    I am so over the serious, pretentious roles Leo play just to be an Oscar contender. So, I must admit, I like him in this trailer.

  12. Kola says:

    I just wanted to see Kerry Washington, unfortunately, she is barely in the trailer. Anyways, good to see Leo play a different character for once, all his roles were beginning to look the same.

  13. Jenne Frisby says:

    Bedhead, I too an am unapologetic Quentin fan. Like, intensely. I loved this trailer, and probably watched it seven times yesterday. While I think we’ll all miss Sally, and I wish Django was played by someone else, I think QT’s still knows what he’s doing.

    And I know what you mean about Leo. I’ve gotten pretty tired of him, but I like this camp. Like, I can’t remember him having fun in a movie, ever. I think Dustin Rowles was right, he has drunk the kool-aid, and he likes it.

    Also, lots of movies have been releasing their Christmas trailers. It is very early, but what can you do. Fingers crossed!

  14. Neelyo says:

    Well I guess for this film Tarentino will have an excuse for his over-indulgent use of the n word.

  15. RobN says:

    QT is starting to seem a bit like a try-hard.

  16. lucy2 says:

    I’m not a huge QT fan, but I think this looks pretty interesting. Leo’s a good actor, and this seems to be a role that will let him branch out and have a little fun.
    And for my fellow Justified fans, the brilliant Walton Goggins is in it too, and his role got expanded when Kurt Russell bailed.
    I’m mostly curious to see how some of these actors will do in a QT movie.

  17. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    Several actors besides Cohen have dropped out of the film for various reasons (Josph Gordon Levitt, Will Smith, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and Jonah Hill) mostly because of “scheduling conflicts.” However, word around the web is that these actors didn’t want to be connected to such an overtly racist film. Slavery is a sensitive issue, and one very difficult to make light of (particularly when you’re a “privileged white male”). And before anyone points out the fact that Inglorious Basterds focuses on the Nazi’s and a rogue group of Jewish badasses out for revenge, I’d like to add that I don’t remember Inglorious Basterds generating as much concern or having actors drop out of that film because of it’s content.

    • Nicole says:

      I think JGL dropped out to shoot his directorial debut. Will doesn’t like to be involved in anything controversial. His team probably forced him to back out.

    • Otterette says:

      Interesting… I’m really curious how the plot will pan out, and I do have concerns (even though I didn’t hear the rumors of all those actors dropping out.) I wouldn’t call slavery a “sensitive” issue- it is an highly unfortunate historical event that shouldn’t be forgotten by any means. It was brutal and horrendous, but it happened and we should never hesitate to talk about it because the social, judicial, political and economic ramifications are still rampant, to this very day. It all depends on the context of the movie, but just because it is about slavery doesn’t mean it should be taboo by any means. I wish I knew more about the story being told.

  18. Chris says:

    First of all, Bastard is no where near masterpiece (check the critics) nor your favorite actor Brad pitt is barely good as an actor. His biggest accomplishment as an actor was dating talented Angelina. By doing so he basically wanted to be taken seriously. While Leo who is his 12 year junior was getting nomination at 19 before even brad got his first lol, the notion that you even think to downgrade this movie because him is beyond outrageous. Leo, by far is the greatest actor of our generation and that’s not me just saying it, it’s De niro saying it also. 30 years from now Brad will be remember as great celebrity while Leo will be remember for his famous movies (Romeo and juliet, The Aviator, Titanic , The departed, Inception ….). Oh did i mention partnering arguably the best director Scorsese for six times. Now that is the resumé Brad will die to have one. Just Because Leo doesn’t want fame whor..ing like Brad and doesn’t gives you interesting tabloid stories to write about, doesn’t mean you know better. Tarantino best movie is still Pulp fiction, second to that is Reservoir . The only good thing about Bastard is Waltz who actually save the moving from being Bad. Now that is actual talent who earn his nom while the lead actor could be played by anyone.

  19. bns says:

    If Leo doesn’t have a major meltdown in this movie, it’ll be perfect. Tarantino is a douche, but I love his movies.

  20. Bubulle says:

    I kind of like the trailer but everybody seems miscast to me : Christoph Waltz seems to recycle his IB performance, Jamie Foxx tries too hard to be badass, and Leo DiCaprio looks everything but evil and WTF with that accent ?

  21. Lisa says:

    “I’m not much of a DiCaprio fan and have always found his acting to be overrated.”

    Exactly. I also don’t find him especially attractive.

    • mare says:

      LOL, You prove my point again. You were reviewing his look not actually the movie. I got it now, by your standard the better looking actor is the better good actor become. lol How old are you?

  22. Reece says:

    Well now I know what it’s about. It did make me curious to see it. Why is his wife dressed up if she was captured?

  23. Nessa says:

    I think this looks good. QT is a lunatic and his films usually reflect such.

  24. Jackie says:

    i love QT, but he is repeating himself. looks like just another one of his revenge movies, but set within a different time period.

    his use of music is a thing of beauty, though. can’t beat a good dose of james brown for dramatic effect…and to punch the statement of black power.

  25. I.want.shoes says:

    Meh. I really can’t stand Jamie Foxx. But at least DiCaprio doesn’t look like an overstuffed hamster.

  26. Nicole says:

    I’d rather see Idris Elba play this role. Jamie annoys me for some reason.

    • Maguita says:


      But not many are patient enough to suffer QT’s “artistic mad genius”, unfortunately Idris is known to be serious with his time and craft.

  27. B says:

    I can’t stand Tarantino, but I am looking forward to this. It looks ridiculous, but all of Tarantino’s movies are, IMO. This one actually looks enjoyable though, but I might be biased as a DiCaprio fan. I think Leo looks great in this. The characters in Tarantino movies are always ridiculous and over-the-top, so Leo shouldn’t be any different.

  28. carrie says:

    i don’t know!
    i have the same feeling than in front of Brad Pitt in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS trailer
    does Watz act again his nazi character here? Fox looks nice

  29. mia girl says:

    I saw this yesterday and was, underwhelemed. There is something not hitting the mark but I can’t really say what it is.

    Also, maybe too much Christoph Waltz(who I love) but after having seen Basterds 5+ times and Water For Elephants, I’m noticing he kinda plays it the same in every role.

  30. dillene says:

    Oh God, I just realized that I’m wearing the same hairstyle that Leo has in that picture (minus the Van Dyke). Okay, time to grow it out again.

  31. Ron says:

    Was never a fan of Tarantino movies, and after I watched that trailer, it just confirmed my dislike for his films. I won’t spend a dime on this, for sure.

  32. SmartGirlsAlwaysWinInTheEnd says:

    PROUD TARANTINO FAN GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Have been looking forward to this since they announced it; before they put the battery in the first digital camera.

    I AM GOING TO LOVE THIS because not only do I ADORE Tarantino films, but I ADORE B-films, Blaxpoitation (which this films is derived), Kung-Fu, and Spagetti Westerns (also, from where this film’s derived).

    I think to love Tarantino movies, you also have to love the genres I mentioned above. He’s a HUGE genre guy and takes from/is inspired by EVERYTHING.


  33. Kristina says:

    It looked good to me but in the end when it read “Django is off the chain” it kind of made it corny. I’m still gonna see it though, I have a weak spot for Leonardo Dicaprio.

  34. Mooshi says:

    If this was about white people having fun killing blacks (with humor), everyone would flip out.

    So, I am not finding this in the slightest bit tasteful.

    Just another attempt to fuel black/white tension.

    Hollywood is so transparent.

  35. Bodhi says:

    This looks AMAZING! And I want it to be out NOW so I can see the whole thing!

  36. tmnt says:

    Watch this movie, if only for Christoph Waltz.

    Let’s hope Jamie Foxx doesn’t sink this like he did Miami Vice.