"Django" pays homage to both Sergio Corbucci's films of the 1960s and Arthur Penn's satirical, über-violent western "Little Big Man." Tarantino also relied on the German fairy tale of Siegfried rescuing Brunhilde from a mountain, a dragon and a ring of hellfire as a framework for the story, and he throws in a poignant literary reference to Alexandre Dumas and "The Three Musketeers."
Despite the film's lighter moments — Tarantino says he considers the Klan bit in "Django" the funniest he's written since his infamous "color" scene in 1992's "Reservoir Dogs" — the director and his collaborators admit the production was an arduous journey because of the subject matter and the brutality.
"I didn't sleep through the night throughout this whole shoot," Foxx admitted in June. "Quentin was constantly challenging me to get to the slave. How do you leave your persona? You are starting all over again, to be that vulnerable, to not be able to read. For you to be able to let go like that, that's a scary thing."
Tarantino, normally gregarious, said he's found himself in a depressed, melancholy state now that he's finished the movie and is starting to allow himself time to reflect on the world he has re-created.