After the successful premiere in France on CANAL+, the new western TV series Django will premiere in other European countries in April, including Romania on Focus Sat. Filmed entirely in Romania, the production is an original western with an inclusive cast that boasts famous names such as Matthias Schoenaerts, Noomi Rapace, Lisa Vicari and Nicholas Pinnock, and promises an unforgettable TV experience.
A co-production of Sky Atlantic and CANAL+, Django is inspired by the Italian movie of the same name directed by Sergio Corbucci (1966), a spaghetti western that launched the career of the Italian actor Franco Nero and inspired Quentin Tarantino to create “Django Unchained” (2012). After the launch in France on CANAL+, the 10 episodes will also premiere in other European countries, such as Romania, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands and more. Beginning with April 24th, the series is available to the Romanian public in the Focus Sat App and on Focus Sat TV (two premiere episodes on Mondays and Thursdays, from 21:30). Those who are not yet Focus Sat customers can watch the series by testing the Focus Sat App for free, for 7 days.
The action in Django takes place in the Wild West (between 1860-1870) and tells the story of Django, a taciturn and enigmatic gunslinger who arrives in New Babylon, a city of outcasts where all races and creeds are accepted. Haunted by the murder of his family eight years ago, during the Civil War, Django learns that Sarah (his daughter) is still alive and has survived the massacre. She had been rescued by John Ellis, the town’s founder, a black man, who has raised her along with his three sons. But Sarah, now a grown woman, asks her father to leave. She fears that his presence endangers her new family and her new town. However, Django has no intention of losing his daughter again.
With a prominent cast, Django engages us in a story full of twists and turns, alternating with moments of deep emotion. The Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts – who won awards for his past performances in “The Danish Girl” and “Rust and Bones” – plays the title role. Nicholas Pinnock (known for his role in “Captain America: The First Avenger”) plays his ally, John Ellis – the founder of the city of New Babylon. Sarah is played by Lisa Vicari, known from the series “Dark”. Noomi Rapace (BAFTA nominee for the original Scandinavian production “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) is the relentless Elizabeth Thurmann, who won’t stop until she has John Ellis’ heart in her hands.
The series is directed by Francesca Comencini (“Gomorrah”), David Evans (“Downtown Abbey”) and Enrico Maria Artale (“Romulus”). They imagined Django as a psychological, feminist and contemporary western. In Francesca Comencini’s view, the roles are reversed against the background of a society where diversity is seen by some as an opportunity for the future and by others as a threat. A male protagonist struggling with his emotions and a female antagonist character who proves to be the fiercest defender of the patriarchal order. The new take on the Wild West is set in an incredibly current context. All this is wrapped in a captivating visual style and given a frenetic pace, among shootings, hangings, and wonderfully wild landscapes.
The 10 episodes were filmed entirely in Romania, between May and November 2021, in numerous regions of the country: the area of Brașov (in the crater of the extinct volcano from the village of Racoș), Râșnov, Zărnești, the Castel Film Studios, Frame Studios and Buftea Studios, in Dobrogea (the Măcin Mountains, Cheile Dobrogei, the Black Sea shore), at the Muddy Volcanoes, but also near Bucharest, at Potigrafu and Călugăreni. The shooting lasted for 27 weeks (153 days and nights) and sets were built in 20 completely natural locations (including 54 houses). The crater of the Racoș volcano was transformed completely into the western town of New Babylon. The production team used old wood – purchased from local villagers (to preserve the patina of time and keep sustainability in mind) – and archaic, 150-year-old methods, to erect 54 western-style wooden structures. Set designers worked for almost three months on the complex construction and accurately recreated the style of the buildings of the American Wild West.
Django is an impressive production with 7,000 extras and an international team of over 600 technicians, production people and European actors (from Romania, Belgium, Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine, Croatia, USA, and Canada), representing a total investment of 40 million Euros. The Romanian production team was represented by Frame Film, which is managed by Andrei Boncea, Claudia Stavrositu and Adrian Codoi. Frame Film is a Romanian film and television production company created by Andrei Boncea and Dragoș Buliga, the co-producers of some of the biggest film productions made in Romania in the last 10 years, such as “The Protégé” (directed by Martin Campbell, director of the James Bond films “Golden Eye” and “Casino Royale”, with Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton and Maggie Q), “The Wanderers: The Quest of The Demon Hunter” (directed by Dragoș Buliga, with Armand Assante and Lior Ashkenazi) and celebrated television series such as “Atletico Textila”, “Triplusec”, “Ai noștri”, “Las Fierbinți”.