The song “Unchain My Heart” meant something very different when Jamie Foxx re-created it in 2004’s Ray, but you could argue the title applies in a strange and more sinister way in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming revenge western Django Unchained.
The bond Foxx wants to break this time around is not a bad romance, but something far uglier and more painful: his slave status in the pre-Civil War South, which is the obstacle preventing him from going in search of his sold-off wife, played by Kerry Washington.
After the jump, Entertainment Weekly debuts the first two photos from the movie, which hits theaters on Dec. 25, and we also talk with Foxx about this southern-fried take on the spaghetti western.
Does he think Django Unchained will be controversial? “Oh, hell yeah,” Foxx says. “You kidding me?” The Oscar winner describes his character as Shaft’s “Richard Roundtree meets Clint Eastwood.”
After being sent to a chain gang after rebelling against his owners, Django is recruited by a German bounty hunter (Inglorious Basterd’s Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, below, with Foxx) to help him settle an old score. Django has information that Waltz’s Dr. King Schultz needs, so the German mercenary liberates the slave and promises that if he helps him kill the Brittle brothers, Django’s old owners, he’ll make it worth his while. “He says, ‘I’ll kill ‘em, and you’ll get some money and be on your way as a free man,’” Foxx says.