Renegade slave and bounty hunter out to free his wife from an evil plantation owner with some help from a German bounty hunter.
Django Freeman is very much inspired by the character Django, who first appeared in the 1966 film Django, where he was played by Franco Nero. Django Freeman was created by Quentin Tarantino and debuted in his 2012 picture Django Unchained.
Tarantino originally intended for the character to be played by Will Smith, and wrote the screenplay with that actor in mind. However, Smith turned the role down. Smith says it was because he was busy helping his children's careers (he was in pre-production on After Earth when Django Unchained started filming); others say that it may also be because Smith did not want to hurt his brand by playing a violent assassin who likes "killing white folks." Prior to Django Unchained's release, Smith said he loved the screenplay and was certain the movie would be good.
In Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx was cast in the role after Smith turned it down.
Django Unchained opens two years before the American Civil War.
Django is a slave being led across the Texas wilderness chained to fellow slaves by two brutal slavemasters--the Speck brothers--taking him to auction. He has no shoes and his back is covered in scars from a whip.
While in the woods one night, the slaves and their masters are approached by a wagon pulled by one horse with a giant plaster replica of a tooth on the top. The wagon's owner, a middle aged, well-dressed man with a thick German accent, introduces himself as a dentist named Dr. King Schultz. He says he is looking for a particular slave named "Django" to purchase. He looks through the slave and when he finds Django says he wants to buy him. However, the slavemasters are suspicious and say they have no intention of selling him anything. They tell Schultz to leave and when he doesn't one of them threatens him with a gun. Schultz is a fast draw, though, and kills the man; he then shoots the other one's horse.
Schultz strongarms the remaining man (who is pinned under the dead horse) into selling him Django, giving them the proper paper-work, and giving them the dead man's horse for Django to ride (he does pay him some money). Schultz then explains to the slaves that they have two choices: Carry their injured master twenty miles to the nearest town, or shoot him and flee to the North (Schultz even shows them witch star is the North Star). As Schultz and Django ride away, the slaves choose option B.
Schultz brings Django to a bar in a small town. The bartender is shocked that Schultz brings a black person into it and runs off to get the sheriff. Schultz pours himself a drink and explains to Django that though he is certified to be a dentist he is in fact a bounty hunter. He says that he is looking for a trio of plantation workers named the Brittle Brothers. Schultz doesn't know what they look like, but he heard that Django does. Schultz says that if Django can bring them to him, Schultz will give Django a portion of the reward and his freedom (Schultz says that he believes slavery is wrong). After explaining this, the sheriff orders Schultz and Django out. Shultz walks out, casually shoots him, and then returns to the tavern. When the deputy and an enormous possy show up and order Schultz out, Schultz walks out calmly with his hands in the air. He then shows them a wanted poster for the sheriff, who was using as assumed identity and was wanted dead or alive in another state for murder. Schultz and Django then leave.
A flashback explains that Django was married to another slave named Broomhilda von Shaft. When they found out they were going to be sold to different places, they tried to escape. The Brittle Brothers caught them, branded runaway marks on their faces, and whipped Broomhilda mercilessly.
Django and Schultz go to a plantation that likely has the Brittle Brothers. Django and Shultz devise a plan where Schultz goes to the plantation owner, Big Daddy, and claims to be looking to purchase a slave. Meanwhile, Django--pretending to be Schultz's free valet--goes around talking to the slaves and seeing if he knows where the Brittle Brothers are.
It works like a charm. While Schultz and Big Daddy are talking, Django finds out from a slave that three brothers are now working at the plantation. He finds them getting ready to brutally whip a young slave-woman for accidentally breaking eggs. Django interrupts them and violently kills two of them.
The third attempts to flee, but Schultz comes out and, when Django confirms that it is in fact one of the men he is looking for, kills him as well. Big Daddy and his men come out to kill Django and Schultz, but when Schultz is able to prove with paperwork that the Brittle Brothers are in fact wanted criminals, they have to let them go (Big Daddy is embarassed in front of all his slaves by being unable to stop a black man from killing his workers).
That night, after Django and Shultz have collected the reward, Big Daddy comes with a group of dozens of men to go lynch the bounty hunters where they are camped in a deserted valley. However, some of his men object to the white (KKK-esque) hoods Big Daddy has them wearing because they obstruct their vision. Big Daddy insists they wear them anyway.
Big Daddy and his gang descend on the wagon, but find it is a trapped. Schultz triggers a bunch of explosives the wagon was rigged with, killed a lot of the men. The rest begin to flee, but to ensure they stay away Schultz shoots a few more. He offers to let Django shoot Big Daddy: Django is eager to do so. Schultz is very impressed by Django's shooting talent.
One night, while Django and Schultz are camped together, Django tells Schultz he plans to go rescue Broomhilda. Schultz then tells Django the story of Broomhilda from German legend, and how her lover (Sigfried) saved her: He rode past various monsters because he wasn't afraid and he rode through the fire because he loved her so much the pain didn't matter. Schultz then says that he will help Django get Broomhilda in the Spring if Django stays with him as his partner over the Winter. Django agrees.
Schultz teaches Django how to fire a gun and Django, who is already naturally talented at this, becomes a master gunslinger.
A few months later, Django and Schultz are at the top of a hill looking at a man plowing a field on his farm with his young son. The man is Schultz and Django's target. Django doesn't want to kill the man in front of his son. Schultz then shows Django the wanted poster, which says that the man led a gang of merciless train robbers who killed several people including a policeman. Schultz said that if the man had wanted to become a simple farmer with his son from the getgo this wouldn't be happening, but he hadn't. Django then shoots him from a distance. Schultz then gives Django the wanted poster, saying it is good luck to keep the poster from one's first kill.
That spring, Django and Schultz go to Mississippi to find out where Broomhilda is. Looking through sales receipts, Schultz and Django discover that Broomhilda was sold to a very wealthy bachelor named Calvin Candie who owns an enormous plantation aptly called Candieland. Django explains that since Broomhilda has been branded a runaway she can't work as a house slave anymore, but she is too well tutored (she even speaks German) to be put to work in the fields. Therefore, she has probably been forced to be a sex slave.
Schultz says he is concerned that Candie might be hesitant to sell Broomhilda for an even remotely reasonable price. Therefore, he devises a plan with Django to trick Candie into selling her cheap. In it, Django will be required to play a black slaver, the most detested position among black people. Schultz will go to Candie pretending to be a wealthy foreign investor who has recruited Django to help start a mandingo business. Mandingo fighting is effectively gladiatorial-combat to the death that slaves are forced to participate in (it is a made up sport that has no historical record of ever existing). In the movie, Candie has a great amount of "mandingos" (slave gladiators).
Schultz and Django go meet Candie's lawyer, Leonide Moguy. Django takes on a very rude, cocky, and cold-hearted persona. Moguy brings Django and Schultz to Candie.
Candie is young, personable, well-groomed, and friendly. He is having a mandingo fight when Django and Schultz arrive. When he finishes, Schultz explains that he and Django are looking to purchase a mandingo or two for a business they are starting. They offer to pay over $10,000; Candie instantly agrees.
The next day, Candie and some of his friends/workersride to his plantation with Django and Schultz. Candie's men insult Django; Django retaliates by shoving one of Candie's men off his horse, breaking his collarbone. Butch Pooch, Candie's right hand man, and Django are ready to try and kill each other, but Candie stops them and tells Butch to stop being rude to the guests. Django mocks Butch and rides off.
Schultz calls Django aside and tells him to stop antagonizing Candie, who's patience will likely wear thin. Django refuses, saying that he is going to go all the way in the role he is playing.
The group come across a bunch of Candie's men surrounding a tree where D'Artagnan, one of Candie's mandingos, is fighting. D'Artagnan begs Candie for his life, but Candie says that he paid for five fights from D'Artagnan and that D'Artagnan has worn himself out so that he is no good anymore. He orders his men to have the dogs kill the slave, but Schultz interrupts and volunteers to buy D'Artagnan instead. Django, concerned Schultz could blow their cover, says that Schultz didn't mean it and that he just wants Candie to end it already as Candie is being rude. Schultz rescinds his offer saying that Django is right. Candie has the dogs tear D'Artagnan apart.
When the group arrives at Candie's house, they are greeted by Calvin's sister, Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly, and Stephen, the old head slave for Candie's house. Stephen is clearly not just a slave for Candie but a friend, who jokes around with him. Stephen is incredibly upset to hear Django will be sleeping as a guest because he feels black people are innately inferior. Candie insists Stephen stop complaining about it.
Schultz ascertains that Broomhilda is most definitely a sex slave for Calvin Candie. He requests that she be brought to his quarters as he wants to be with someone who speaks German. Candie agrees, but Stephen says that she tried to run away and is in "the box" for the next ten days. Candie demands she be taken out to be with Schultz. Django sees from a distance his wife, completely naked, roughly dragged out of a hot metal box in the ground.
When Broomhilda is brought to Schultz's room and they are in private, Django enters. Django explains his plan to Broomhilda (off-screen), but insists Broomhilda pretend they don't know each other.
At dinner, Schultz says he plans to get into mandingo fighting. He says he plans to pay $10k for a particular slave. As he is explaining, Candie begins showing off Broomhilda and joking about Schultz sleeping with her (which didn't happen, obviously, but Candie thinks did). He has undo the back of her dress and show off her scars. Schultz then gets back to his plan and explains that he wants to go get his lawyer and return in a week to finalize the deal. Candie agrees. Schultz then mentions that he really liked Broomhilda and that he would pay $500 for her right then. Candie is about to agree, assuming this is just an extra, impulsive bonus purchase. However, Stephen interrupts and insists Candie go to the other room and speak with him.
Stephen explains that he saw the way Broomhilda and Django looked at each other and he knows they know each other. He then says they are probably husband and wife and that this is all a trick for Candie to sell Broomhilda. Candie realizes he was being had and walks back into the dining room enraged. He takes out a human skull that he says belonged to a slave who would shave his father every morning. He says the reason the slave never killed his father with the razor was because black people have three dimples in the back of their skull that keep them subservient. He saws open the skull to show it, but cuts his hand on it and rubs the blood on Broomhilda. He then reveals that he discovered Schultz and Django's plan. He then tells Butch to shoot Bromhilda if Schultz doesn't pay the $10,000.
Schultz does, in fact, have the money. Everyone goes into the dining room where Schultz pays Candie who writes out the bill of sale. Broomhilda, Django, and Schultz begin to leave, but Candie says there is a custom in the South where after a deal people shake hands. He says if Schultz doesn't shake his hand the sale won't count and he will have Butch kill Broomhilda. Schultz has a flashback to D'Artagnan's death and decides he won't tolerate Candie's behavior anymore. As he reaches out to shake Candie's hand, he swiftly shoots him instead, killing him. As Stephen runs to Candie's body distraught, Butch kills Schultz. Django then gets into a lengthy and extremely bloody gunfight with Candie's men: He kills roughly six to eight of them. However, Stephen gets Broomhilda and threatens to kill her if Django doesn't surrender. Django does.
Butch has Django chained up upside down in a barn. He is about to castrate Django when Stephen interrupts with orders from Lara Lee--Django is simply to be sent to a mining company where he will be worked to death like any other ordinary slave.
A group of Australian immigrants are transporting Django with a few other slaves to the mining company. Django calls out to them that he isn't actually a slave, but a bounty hunter. He said he went to Candieland in order to track down a group of train robbers, but lost a gunfight and has been made into a slave instead. He asks the Australians if any of them have seen a slave talk like him, and they answer that they haven't. Django takes out the wanted poster from his first kill and tells the Australians that all those train robbers are still at Candieland laughing about how they got away with everything, but Django can lead the Australians to them and they can kill and collect the reward. The Australians go ask the other slaves if they think Django is a slave: The slaves, having seen Django's coldness as D'Artagnan died, honestly insist he is not. Convinced, the Australians unchain Django, who quickly steals a gun and kills them all.
Django goes to the house of the lower class white workers on Candieland who's dogs tore apart D'Artagnan. Django yells "D'Artagnan, motherfucker" and kills them all. Django then goes to where they have Schultz's body and says "Auf wiedersehen," which is German for good bye but also literally means "until we meet again."
Django rides to the house where Broomhilda is lying ready to be raped. He comes in and rescues her. They kiss.
Django sneaks into Candieland mansion and waits for the inhabitants to get back from Calvin's funeral. When they enter, Django kills Butch and Lara Lee, then shoots out Stephen's legs. Stephen says that there is no where Django can escape to, but Django walks out and blows up all of Candieland.
Broomhilda and Django ride off into the sunset.
Django is proud and intelligent. He convincingly portrays a variety of roles while on his missions. He generally wears fantastic regalia, though it is implied he would do this if he wasn't playing a role. He is also hot-headed and is swift to violence. Django is excellent at marksmanship and is fantastic in combat.
Django is African-American and a former slave. However, due to being a freeman who seems well-educated and capable, he confounds both other whites and blacks.
Django's primary motivation in Django Unchained is to rescue his wife, Broomhilda von Shaft, from the sadistic plantation owner Calvin J. Candie, who has her tortured and forced into prostitution. He is willing to sacrifice anything and everything for this, even preventing his partner from saving a slave who is being eaten by dogs for fear it may blow his cover.