DC’s DJANGO UNCHAINED miniseries has gotten a lot of press and sales—the first issue was a sellout, but in all the hoopla we’d always noticed that while it was billed as an adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay, with art by R.M. Guera, an actual writer was never named. (Movie scripts don’t just adapt themselves.) Well, it turns out, in a publicity blitz last week, that now Oscar-nominated producer and long-time comics scripter Reginald Hudlin did the actual adapting. The comic is based on the original screenplay and includes many scenes that were cut from the final film, as he told Comics Alliance.
RH: No. Well, first of all, I was working on the comic while we were still shooting the movie. And secondly, we made the decision really early on to make the comic book be the comic book, which is different from the movie. If anything the idea is that people can read the comic, they can see the movie, they can see what we changed, what we left out, what we kept in, and they can decide for themselves if those choices were good or not. We want people to look at the text and really think about those choices and go “Wow I’m glad they took that out, they didn’t need that,” or “Man, I wish they had put that thing in!” That part of the discussion is great.
This interview also addresses the previous absence of Hudlin’s name:
CA: Your name isn’t in the first issue, and the fact that you’re the one writing the adaption is just coming out now. Was there anything specific behind that decision? Was it just a timing issue?
RH: It was just a crazy time. We were finishing the movie and trying to get the book out, you know, so the last thing I was thinking about was credit! For me, it’s Quentin’s story and it’s Guera’s art, and that’s kind of what was important to me. And the folks at DC said “You know, could we tell people that you’re writing this thing?” [Laughs] And I just said “Okay, if you really want.” That really wasn’t what was important to me, but our partners asked and I just said “Sure!”
So there, the missing name in the credits has been supplied. In comics, Hudlin is best known for writing BLACK PANTHER for several years, including the storyline where Storm and The Black Panther married (the couple have since split).
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.