Quentin Tarantino has one-upped his own immeasurably cool reputation, delighting fans by releasing a Django Unchained comic book series featuring an unabridged version of his controversial film script.
The original script, which Tarantino said would have resulted in a film close to four hours long, will be used verbatim in the six-part series published by Vertigo Comics.
Tarantino, a former video-store clerk and avid consumer of niche culture, acknowledged his love of comic books in the foreword to the series, and said the comics would give him a chance to reverse the constant condensing he is forced into with his films.
“When I write my big epic scripts ... there's a lot of stuff that doesn't make it into the movies because they are just too f---ing big,” he writes in the introduction. “So there's always this aspect that the script is a big literary piece, and I'm always changing it and conforming it to fit it into a movie.”
Dedicated online fans have already taken to blogs to discuss the back stories absent in the film, which the comic books are set to flesh out, including missing key characters and an explanation of Tarantino and Australian actor John Jarratt's presence as Australian workers.
The series has been adapted by the film's producer, Reggie Hudlin, who told website Comic Book Resources of the unused material that will appear in the comics.
“There is some dialogue exchanges that got trimmed out that are really just brilliant," Hudlin said. "There's a couple of scenes that were one of Sam Jackson's favourite scenes, one of Jamie Foxx's favourite scenes, one of Kerry Washington's favourites, that are [all] making their way back. You get more of everything.”
Artistry for the series will be provided by the Serbian comic author R.M. Guéra. Having previously illustrated images of Tarantino's last film, Inglourious Basterds, Guéra has taken some creative liberty with the character designs, with a number differing starkly from their celluloid counterparts.
Tarantino has hinted at the release of a director's cut of Django Unchained at some stage. His other epic script, Kill Bill, has already been confirmed to return for a third instalment, though a release date is yet to be set.
The first issue of the Django Unchained series is out now, with the second due out on February 19. It can be bought in local comic stores as well as downloaded digitally.