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'Django' — cast, plot, first looks, and all about this new adaptation of a classic Western

'Django' star Matthias Schoenaerts hits the Wild West!
'Django' star Matthias Schoenaerts hits the Wild West! (Image credit: Cos Aelenei)

Classic Westerns are always popular but 10-part series Django offers a fresh take on the traditional genre. Loosely based on the famous 1966 Spaghetti Western film, the new series also has a strong psychological element to it, and the female characters we're told will be much more to the fore, all to appeal to a newer audience. 

So here’s everything you need to know about this new adaptation of Django which will be coming to Sky in 2022. Also take a peek at the amazing first look pictures (see above and below)...

'Django' release date...

Production started on Django in May 2021 so the expected release date is currently being kept under wraps by Sky. We think it likely to be shown on Sky Atlantic or Sky Max in the UK which means it's likely to head to HBO in the US, and probably next year. 

'Django' plot?

Set in the Wild West in the 1860s and 1870s, we meet Django, played by Matthias Schoenaerts, a man haunted the murder of his family eight years earlier. He’s still looking for his daughter, Sarah, whom he believes may have survived the tragedy. 

His search takes him to New Babylon, a city of outcasts comprising of men and women from all backgrounds, races and creeds and where everyone is welcomed with open arms. Django discovers the city was founded by his daughter Sarah (Lisa Vicari), who’s now a grown woman, and her fiancé John Ellis (Nicholas Pinnock), who she’s just about to marry. 

When the pair are reunited Sarah pleads with Django to leave as she fears he’ll put New Babylon’s safety in jeopardy. But Django is convinced the city is in danger and is adamant that he won’t lose Sarah twice. 

How 'Django' brings a fresh twist to the classic Western genre…

Django promises to bring a contemporary take to the Italian Spaghetti Western genre, celebrating difference and empowering women. Director Francesca Comencini says: "I was extremely attracted to this project as it features extremely strong female characters and delivers a thought-provoking reappraisal of masculinity in the Western genre. It’s a universal story with a narrative that celebrates diversity and minorities."

'Django' cast — Matthias Schoenaerts as Django

Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts who plays Django made his film debut at 13 when he played alongside his father Julien in the Belgian film Daens in 1992. When he played the role of Jacky, a farmer who becomes involved with steroids, in the 2011 film Bullhead he spent two years bulking up for the part and committed to an exhaustive weight lifting regime. He’s best known for his appearances in The Danish Girl, Red Sparrow and Far From The Madding Crowd


A more dishevelled Matthias Schoenaerts in 'Django'. (Image credit: Cos Aelenei)

Matthias Schoenaerts with Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd.

'Django' star Matthias Schoenaerts with Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd. (Image credit: Alamy)

'Django' cast — Nicholas Pinnock as John Ellis

Nicholas Pinnock takes the role of Django's chief antagonist John Ellis, who has co-founded the town of New Babylon with Django's long lost daughter Sarah who he's about to marry. 

Nicholas has starred in TV dramas such as Counterpart, Top Boy, Fortitude and Marcella (available on streaming service BritBox (opens in new tab)) plus has big screen roles in The Last Tree and Dark Encounter.

Nicholas Pinnock plays John Ellis who is a major enemy of Django.

Nicholas Pinnock plays John Ellis who is a major enemy of Django. (Image credit: Cos Aelenei)

'Django' cast — Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth...

Swedish star Noomi Rapace plays John Ellis’ merciless and powerful enemy Elizabeth, a Western woman definitely not to be messed with in. the tradition of Calamity Jane or Annie Oakley. 

Naomi has starred in a number of major movies such as Prometheus, Sherlock Holmes and What Happened to Monday, plus the she took the lead role as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo plus its two sequels and the TV mini series Millennium. Noomi also starred as Harriet Baumann in the Amazon Prime series Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.

Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth in Django.

Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth in 'Django'. (Image credit: Cos Aelenei)

'Django' cast — Lisa Vicari as Sarah...

Taking the key role as Django’s long lost daughter Sarah is German actress Lisa Vacari, who is the co-founder of New Babylon along with John Ellis. Lisa is best known for the film Luna and the Netflix series Dark

Lisa Vicari as Sarah in Django.

Lisa Vicari as Sarah in 'Django'. (Image credit: Cos Aelenei)

'Django' cast — who else is starring...

The cast of Django has a great crop of  European and British actors, including as John Ellis’ three sons — Jyuddah Jaymes (Clique, Criminal: UK), Eric Kole (Fifty Pence, Hold) and Benny Opoku-Arthur (Get Lucky, Alexanderplatz). Look out for Tom Austen (The RoyalsGrantchester) in the role of Elijah and actress and Youtuber Abigail Thorn as Jess. 

Where is 'Django' filmed?

Django has started filming in Bucharest, Romania, and is directed by Francesca Comencini (see below).  Locations over six months include Racos, Bucharest and the Danube area. Romania remains a popular film location, with David Tennant’s BBC1 drama Around the World in 80 Days being filmed there too. Django will be produced in English by Cattleya (ZeroZeroZero, Gomorrah) and by Atlantique Productions (Midnight Sun, The Eddy).  

Django filming with Francesca Comencini directing.

'Django' filming with Francesca Comencini directing. (Image credit: Sky)

'Django' — the original 1966 film...

Franco Nero in the 1966 movie Django.

Franco Nero in the 1966 movie 'Django'. (Image credit: Alamy)

The original movie Django (directed by Sergio Corbucci) was released in 1966 and is still regarded as one of the best-loved Italian films. The cult classic was a traditional Spaghetti Western led by actor Franco Nero in the titular role. 

It told the story of a gunslinger and a prostitute who become involved in a bitter feud between a Klan of Southern racists and a band of Mexican revolutionaries. Since its release it has inspired more than 30 unofficial remakes. 

An official sequel, Django Strikes Again, with Franco Nero in the lead role again, was made in 1987 and in 2012 Quentin Tarantino paid homage to the original film with his movie Django Unchained. Franco Nero was given a cameo in the movie. 

Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx and Franco Nero with a guest appearance.

'Django Unchained' stars Jamie Foxx and Franco Nero with a guest appearance. (Image credit: Alamy)

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Nicholas Cannon
Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.