Doesn’t Leonardo DiCaprio look great as a villain? That’s Leo as Calvin Candie, the slaver antagonist of Quentin Tarantino‘s new film Django Unchained, in which the character is opposed by a German bounty hunter and a freed slave, played by Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx. That image is one of two fantastic official first looks at the characters; the other, featuring the heroes, is below.

Foxx tells EW that the movie will certainly be controversial, and describes Django as Shaft’s “Richard Roundtree meets Clint Eastwood.”

He also explains some of the plot, which involves Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) freeing Django from a slave line so that Django can help the dentist-turned-bounty hunter track down the slaving Brittle Brothers. But Django also wants to find his wife (Kerry Washington), and that brings him into the orbit of Calvin Candie (DiCaprio).

Foxx explains,

Candie is a business man who owns a plantation called Candie Land, and that’s where my wife ends up being… we have to get in good with Candie, by me playing a valet for Christoph’s character.

Foxx also says this is both a serious look at slavery as well as a Quentin Tarantino movie.

There’s a beautiful way [Tarantino] found for the characters to talk to each other. It’s mindblowing. You’ve never heard it this way. You’ve seen movies deal with slavery — or westerns that never dealt with slavery – do it the safe way. This way is like … wow.

To get an idea of what we’re in for when Django Unchained opens on Christmas Day, take a look at movies like Mandingo and Drum (the latter is streaming on Netflix) and then imagine Tarantino making his own version of that sort of film, with a spaghetti western tilt. Those movies aren’t easy to watch — they’re the ’70s serious/exploitative look at slavery — but they are some of the most direct pointers to the basics of Django Unchained.

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