Original 'Django' Franco Nero Working on New Film for Iconic Character

'Django Unchained's' Jamie Foxx Left Off

While his supporting co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz earned nominations, as did writer-director Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx did not receive a bid from the HFPA. His title character is a strong-but-silent type, a slave-turned-bounty hunter who fits the mold of the steely, stoic cowboy. It's one of the film's less showy lead roles, so while he helps carry the movie, the gold rewards will go elsewhere.

The Italian actor said "Django Lives" will be set in 1915, when an aging Django is hired as a movie consultant to explain the Wild West.

LACCO AMENO, Ischia, Italy -- Franco Nero, whose interpretation of the brooding, sharp-shooting title character in Sergio Corbucci's 1966 Spaghetti Western classic Django inspired more than two dozen spinoffs, says he's starting work on a new film explaining the final chapter in the character's life.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest, Nero told The Hollywood Reporter the new film will be set in 1915, in the early days of cinema when heroes of the Old West -- like real-life cowboy heroes Wyatt Erp and "Buffalo" Bill Cody -- worked as consultants for western-themed films and theater productions. In the story, Django will work as one of those figures.

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Nero said the working title of the new project, which (unlike the original Spaghetti Western films) will be filmed in the U.S., is Django Lives. Work is just starting.

Though the Django franchise inspired many films, Nero, 71, has acted in just three of them: the original Django, Nello Rossatti's Django Strikes Again from 1987 and in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, where Nero had a cameo opposite Jamie Foxx's version of the Django character.

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All told, Nero, who began acting internationally after being discovered by John Huston, has made nearly 200 films during a 50-year career, including Joshua Logan's 1967 version of Camelot, where Nero's interpretation of Sir Lancelot earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

The Ischia Global Film & Music Fest got underway July 13, when Nero and his wife, actress Vanessa Redgrave, were among the opening-night honorees. The island festival, held off the coast of Naples, wraps Sunday.

Twitter: @EricJLyman