Quentin Tarantino likes making long movies. "Pulp Fiction" clocked in at 154 minutes. "Inglourious Basterds" was 153 minutes. Put together, "Kill Bill" was 247 minutes. Which is why it should come as no surprise that Tarantino's latest, "Django Unchained," is an epic 165 minutes in length. It should also be no surprise that Tarantino originally had a longer film in mind.
"At one point Harvey [Weinstein] was talking about splitting it up [into two films]," Tarantino said at a press conference for "Django Unchained" on Sunday. "I said, 'No, it won't work here.' You have to follow Django's journey to the end."
That decision meant a lot of scenes had to be left out, though whether another cut of "Django Unchained" will see the light of day is unclear.
"I'm not exactly sure," Tarantino said about an extended cut. "I'm going to wait until the film goes around the world, does what it does. And then I'm going to make a decision. I make these scripts that are almost novels. If I had to do this whole thing over again I would have published this as a novel and done this after the fact. Maybe next time. I could do what Kevin Costner did with the expanded edition of 'Dances with Wolves,' and I could very well do that. Because if I put some of that in I have to change the story. But I want this version to be the story for a while."
What does the other version of "Django Unchained" look like? According to Samuel L. Jackson, it was even more violent than the "Django Unchained" arriving in theaters on Christmas Day.
"There are scenes we shot that aren't in the movie in which I do some things that are way more reprehensible than the things you actually see on screen," Jackson told Movieline. In "Django Unchained," Jackson plays Stephen, the head slave at Candyland, a plantation run by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). During one scene that was shot but not used, Jackson said his character tortures a captured slave.
"I burn his nipples off with a hot poker. I do all kinds of sh*t to him in that scene that would have just made people go Ahhhhh!" Jackson said while squirming in his seat.
According to Tarantino, any cuts were made with the audience in mind.
"As far of the pain of the story I could have gone further," he said at the press conference. "I wanted to show more, to show how bad it was. But I also don't want to traumatize the audience to the point that they aren't where I need them to be in the last reel."
For more on "Django Unchained," head over to Indiewire's blog The Playlist.
[via Indiewire/The Playlist]