John Sayles, primarily known for quieter independent fare, has been tapped to write the third official entry in the Django series, Django Lives!, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Also returning to the fold will be original Django star Franco Nero, officially playing the character for the first time since 1987’s Django Strikes Again. “John Sayles is a master of literature,” Nero says of Sayles. “He knows how to be exquisitely cultivated and people-oriented at the same time.”
The original Django was released in 1966, and quickly became one of the most influential films of the spaghetti western genre. Nero only returned to the role for one official sequel, 1987’s Django Strikes Again. But over the years—much like Brucesploitation (Bruce Lee ripoffs, usually starring Bruce Le or Bruce Li) and Lucasploitation (Star Wars ripoffs)—Django practically created its own subgenre, with imitators ranging from by-the-numbers action movies (Django, The Last Killer) to the just plain weird (Django Kill!…If You Live, Shoot!). Quentin Tarantino famously took the name for Jamie Foxx’s character in Django Unchained, and even had Foxx and Nero discuss the perils of having an odd name:
Sayles is no stranger to genre cinema, either. He cut his teeth working for Roger Corman and is credited with writing Piranha, Alligator, and Battle Beyond The Stars, and in 1996 he wrote and directed Lone Star, which Nero calls “one of the greatest modern Westerns ever shot.”
No word on whether the Django television series will be put on hold while production commences on the third official chapter in the Django saga, but it can be assumed that, if and when it is completed, it will air on El Rey.