Franco Nero Lives! or: How You Can Get To Know the Original 'Man with the Silent D'

If you’re not familiar with Franco Nero, now might be a good time as Quentin Tarantino’s next film, Django Unchained (keep your eyes peeled for our review next week) draws ever nearer to its theatrical release. You could also wait to see the film for yourself, but Nero’s brief cameo is a poor introduction to one of the greatest screen gunslingers of all time; if you can set aside six hours between now and Christmas, Keoma (one of the twenty best movies you maybe haven’t seen!), Companeros, and of course the namesake of Tarantino’s picture, Django, should get you far better acquainted with Nero’s legend. Seriously, go watch them, and I’ll wait here until you get back. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.

While out of that tiny list I’d peg Keoma as my favorite– it’s an amazing, boundary-pushing movie that features not only a great soundtrack and a terrific supporting cast, but Nero at his grizzly, bearded best– Django remains his most iconic role in the sense that it’s the most instantly recognizable and probably the most widely-seen. Of course,  in his long, illustrious career Nero’s acted in just about every type of genre film you can think of– not just Westerns, like Django and Django Strikes Again (not the only two Django movies, but the only two he starred in) and Texas, Adios, but also cop thrillers like High Crime and even facile, useless romantic comedies like Letters to Juliet. No matter where he goes, though, Nero will always be associated with six shooters and duster coats, so it’s something of a treat to hear that he might be returning to the Western genre in a third Django film.

It sounds like Nero has been approached by film producers Erik Zaldivar and Mike Malloy to star in Django Lives!, about which we know no details beyond what the synopsis tells us:

The story would have former gunslinger Django, in his twilight years, ending up as a silent-movie consultant in 1915 Hollywood and meeting an aspiring filmmaker with whom he reluctantly goes into business. When the filmmaker gets killed by racketeers, the young man’s gambling debts are considered transferred to Django, who must now flee for safety to a small rural community. But that town’s sharply divided inhabitants have their own problems, and Django becomes embroiled in a bloody conflict immediately upon arrival.

(Source: Badass Digest)

If that doesn’t immediately sell you on the picture, I’m not sure what to tell you. It should be noted that none of this is set in stone, so we’ll all have to wait with baited breath to see if Django Lives! actually goes into production or if it’ll end up just being one of those great “what if” projects that we’ll only ever be able to dream about. I’m hoping the former, because that sounds crazy amazing.