Quentin Tarantino is a writer and director who clearly has no problems with violence going to extremes. Many of his movies include significant blood throughout their runtimes or include scenes that have become famous for their levels of intensity. Django Unchained certainly has its share of brutal violence, but apparently, the movie could have gone even harder, but Tarantino changed his mind about including a rape scene, apparently at the last minute.
The Daily Beast has excerpts from Kerry Washington’s new memoir Thicker Than Water in which the actress reveals that the original script for Django included what she calls a “terrifyingly brutal rape scene,” one she had true reservations about being part of. But when it came time to actually shoot the scene, Tarantino instead wrapped the shoot for the day. It seems Washington still doesn’t know why the scene was cut, though she was very glad it was. She explained…
It doesn’t sound like Washington ever voiced her concerns to Tarantino directly, which makes it a very interesting question why the scene was cut. What’s more, this decision was seemingly made on the day the scene was to be shot.
Washington wonders if there was a conversation between Tarantino and Foxx about the scene. Maybe the two had been talking about whether it was really necessary. Or did the director decide himself that the movie just didn’t need it? Based on the level of violence that Django Unchained was comfortable with, which Will Smith has said is the reason he turned down the movie, the scene wouldn’t have felt out of place. And it may have been one of the most violent sequences in the movie.
It sounds like Django Unchained went through a lot of changes from page to screen. Samuel L. Jackson has talked about scenes of his that were cut as well. Zoe Bell has mentioned a fight scene her character was supposed to have that never happened. Perhaps the assault scene was simply one change among others. Or some of the other changes led to this scene not being needed.
Actors are certainly no strangers to being asked to do extreme things, but for Washington, who admits in the book to having been sexually violated by a friend as a child, it may have been that much tougher to go through a scene that would have put her through such an experience.
We can say with certainty that the assault scene wasn’t necessary. As our original Django Unchained review stated, it is still a great film, and there’s no feeling that any moment is missing from it.