As comic book hero storylines continue to diversify, Dynamite Entertainment is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the forthcoming release of a Django/Zorro crossover comic book series. The non-film sequel to Quentin Tarantino's Oscar award-winning 2012 film “Django Unchained” is slated to be released in November.
“I loved the idea,” Tarantino told hundreds of fans Sunday during aComic-Con International panel at the San Diego Convention Center.
“One of the things that I liked so much, I grew up reading western comics and entertainment in general — whether it was the Zorro comics or the Disney show, or Zorro's Fighting Legion. What I thought was that it was such a great idea, taking the most famous fictional Mexican western hero and putting him together with one of the most famous black western heroes.”
The six-issue series is a collaboration between Tarantino and Dynamite comic book writer/artist Matt Wagner. He sat on the panel with Tarantino, Django/Zorro editor Reginald Hudlin, publisher Nick Barrucci, senior editor Joseph Rybandt and moderator Alan Kistler.
Barrucci contacted Hudlin about the idea to partner the heroes before “Django Unchained” even premiered, Hudlin said, who added that it was easy to get Tarantino on board with a series where “black and brown fight together.” Tarantino admitted he was never sure about doing a Django movie sequel, but had always wanted to extend the character's life on paper and this allowed him the chance.
“They are both opposed to oppression. Django's approach is a little more personal, a little more deadly,” Wagner explained, adding that the aged Zorro in the series has “become fastidious and old, and he likes cucumber sandwiches.”
“He's dedicated to teatime and his prairie perfumes,” Tarantino chimed in about Zorro. “But don't get us wrong — he puts on his costume and kicks ass.”
The crossover series even got the blessing of “Django” movie star Jamie Foxx. The award-winning actor who played Django was so stoked he already said he'd be on board for a movie with Antonio Bandaras (who played the masked swordsman in the 1998 film “The Mask of Zorro”) if such a sequel is ever produced, Tarantino said.
“I knew that this was going to be not just historical because Quentin was actually extending the life of one of his brave creations, but it was going to be a collaboration for the ages,” Hudlin said. “This is going to be a fantastic book.”
Here are other highlights from the panel:
“THE HATEFUL EIGHT” COMING SOON
Tarantino confirmed — to a fan begging on his knees during the question and answer session — that “The Hateful Eight” will be coming to the big screen. The highly anticipated project, which stars Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Tim Roth among others, was halted earlier this year when the screenplay was leaked.
“Yes, we are going to be doing ‘The Hateful Eight. All for you,” Tarantino quipped to the fan. “We weren't sure about it, but I just decided just now.”
TARANTINO-IZED ASIAN AMERICAN HERO?
Since the panel focused a lot on heroes of color, a fan asked Tarantino if he's thinking about incorporating any strong Asian American heroes into any of his projects.
In response, Tarantino said that while he hasn't really thought about it before, if he were to do add an Asian American hero to Django's adventures, he'd look to re-introducing Kwai Chang Caine.
Caine was the main character in the television series “Kung Fu,” played by the late David Carradine, who starred in Tarantino's “Kill Bill Vol. 1” (2003) and “Kill Bill Vol. 2” (2004) movies.
TARANTINO GOES SCI-FI
Tarantino mentioned he's thinking about doing a science fiction project. He didn't reveal much detail other than to say that it “won't be a spaceship sci-fi” type of story, but an “Earth-bound sci-fi.”
“I have a little idea right now. It's a little flower, you know, like a bean sprout, but those tend to grow into stalks,” he said.
SUCH A TEASE
The panel joked a lot about how many character's created by Tarantino can easily branch off to spearhead their own hit movie, from the revenge of Vernita Green's daughter in “Kill Bill Vol. 1” to the origin story of Bill from the same two-part film.
“Anybody up for those?” Tarantino asked an already cheering crowd. “With the three godfathers Esteban Vihaio, Pai Mei and Hattori Hanzo — how about that?”
Fans will just have to wait and see.