In a recent interview, director Quentin Tarantino explained why Django Unchained’s famous “baghead scene” barely made it to the final cut.
Quentin Tarantino recently revealed that he almost completely eliminated the “stock market head scene” from 2012. Django unchained.
“That has as much hysterical laughter as I’ve heard in any movie screening, and it happens all over the world. That was everyone’s favorite scene in the script,” Tarantino said at the Empire movie podcast. “[Producer Amy Pascal]Half the reason I wanted to make the movie at Columbia was because of that scene. But it was one of those scenes that, it was a hit on the page, I started to get intimidated about whether it would be that good in the movie. Does everyone like the page so much? [that it’s] Will I lose anything in translation once I have a bunch of actors playing the parts? Because it is not based on a performance, it is a lot of people. And it happens in a strange part of the movie. “
The “baghead scene,” as Tarantino calls it, featured a cameo by Jonah Hill and Tarantino himself among a group of KKK members discussing their masks. Tarantino was concerned that having a “five-minute nonsequence in a movie that is already very long” would not translate to screen as he and Pascal originally hoped.
According to Tarantino, he and editor Fred Raskin would show that scene, even out of context with the rest of the film, to other directors or interviewers and “he never got the answer we thought he should get.” So the concern was apparently justified. He continued, “They really didn’t know what the hell they were seeing.” Due to those lackluster responses, Tarantino cut the scene out entirely when it came time to show the film to the studios.
“… we showed it to [Sony and The Weinstein Company] without that scene, and then after [Pascal] It was like, ‘What the heck happened to the baghead scene?’ And I was like, ‘Here’s the deal. I wanted you to watch the movie without it so you know we don’t need it. Now, let’s put it back for the first market research pick. Let’s see what the audience’s response is, and from that point on, we’ll figure out what to do, ‘”Tarantino said.” Because I wasn’t so sure I was going to get the best response. Because only one person saw it at a time. “
However, at first Django unchained The audience screening, the stock market head scene, when viewed in the context of the entire movie, finally got the desired reaction. Tarantino noted that at “the first market research screening, the entire theater laughed for five minutes straight.” He continued, “It collapses the whole house, and just when they needed to be taken down, it’s a heavy section. And it was like, ‘Okay, well, I guess this scene goes in the movie.’
Written and directed by Tarantino, Django unchained stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. It is currently available to stream on Netflix.
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