'Django Unchained' unfinished?
Director Quentin Tarantino smiles during a panel for his film "Django Unchained" at the Comic Con International convention in San Diego, California July 14, 2012. (Reuters/MARIO ANZUONI)
Could Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Django Unchained also be seriously unfinished?
Anticipation for his first movie since his Oscar-nominated Inglourious Basterds has been running high ever since those seven minutes of footage were unveiled at Cannes this past May to considerable enthusiasm.
But even though the revisionist western is scheduled to arrive in theatres on Dec. 25, we got just a little concerned when we found out that just as recently as a week ago the production had still been sending out casting notices.
Specifically they had been looking for a stand-in for a six-foot Caucasian male of average build with long brown hair and a beard, in the 45 to 55 age range.
The film's casting people also sent the word out for a photo double who was about 5'10" and about 165 pounds with shaggy salt and pepper hair and a goatee.
Our best guess is that they were looking for actors who could double for co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the first instance and Basterds Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz in the second.
Now, it's not unusual for a production to go the double route late in the game if, say, they find they needed to have a certain actor in a scene for continuity's sake, but it wouldn't be significant enough to require them to fly back to the set.
It's also not unusual for a director to realize he needs to do some reshooting after the film has officially wrapped.
Turns out that Django finally did wrap shortly following the above casting call, after an epic 130-day shoot.
Now it's off to the editing room, which will also hold its challenges.
For the first time since Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino won't have trusted editor Sally Menke at his side making the cuts.
She died in two years ago after going hiking in L.A.'s Griffith Park during a day of extreme heat, with her body found at the bottom of a ravine.
His new editor will be cutting it awfully tight, because if Django is considered awards material, then it will have to start screening for voters and critics at least a couple of weeks before that Christmas Day opening.
Will Django come riding into town just in the nick of time?