Django, a captivating television series created by the creative minds of Leonardo Fasoli and Maddalena Ravagli, unfolds in English as a captivating reinterpretation of the legendary 1966 Italian film by Sergio Corbucci. Anchored by an extraordinary cast, including Matthias Schoenaerts, Nicholas Pinnock, Lisa Vicari and Noomi Rapace, the series takes us into the mysterious realm of the Wild West, especially into the turbulent era of the 1860s to 1870s.
The heart of the story beats in the vibrant and mysterious New Babylon, a city built by the visionary John Ellis, where outsiders and outcasts of all backgrounds are welcomed with open arms. At its core, however, Django is a deeply personal story of a man haunted by his past. Eight years earlier, Django endured the tragic loss of his family, but an unshakable conviction burns in him – the belief that his daughter Sarah may have survived.
Djangos’ relentless pursuit leads him to the heart of New Babylon, where he reunites with his daughter, only to face a profound dilemma. Sarah, who is about to start a new life with Ellis, is preoccupied with the fear that her father’s presence will cause chaos in her new refuge. Driven by an unwavering determination to stay with his daughter, Django embarks on an emotionally charged journey of reconnection, defying conventions and embarking on a path to reconciliation in this gripping Wild West saga.
Get ready for a wild ride! If you loved Django’s Old-West appeal, you’ll be reaching for your spurs at these Western shows and longing for more border conflicts and surprises. You can watch most of these Django-like shows on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
1. Frontier (2016-2018)
Enter the harsh world of Frontier, a gripping historical drama starring Jason Momoa, reminiscent of the intense story Frontier in Django Unchained. Created jointly by Rob Blackie and Peter Blackie, this series delves deep into the heart of the North American fur trade in colonial Canada/Rupert’s Land in the late 1700s or early 1800s.
Just like Django’s Quest against the odds, Frontier follows the ruthless Declan Harp, played by Momoa, a wild half-Irish, half-Cree outlaw. Your mission? To challenge the corrupt monopoly of the Hudsons Bay Companys over the fur trade in their homeland and expose a world full of corruption, illegal business and bold ambitions. If Django has sparked your passion for border sagas, Frontier promises an equally exciting journey into the heart of the untamed Canadian wilderness.
2. Lonesome Dove (1989)
Lonesome Dove, like Django, is an epic Western story that takes viewers on a journey through the harsh and dusty landscapes of the Old West. Directed by Simon Wincer, this miniseries adapted from the novel by Larry McMurtry introduces us to the dynamic duo Captain Augustus “Gus” McCrae, played by Robert Duvall, and Captain Woodrow F. Call, played by Tommy Lee Jones.
Set in the late 1870s, their partnership in the execution of a painting in the border town of Lonesome Dove on the Rio Grande is reminiscent of Django’s search in a border town. The characters, the camaraderie and the complexity of their relationships make both stories rich and captivating Western sagas that continue to captivate the audience.
3. Justified (2010-2015)
Justified, created by Graham Yost and based on works by Elmore Leonards, follows charismatic U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (played by Timothy Olyphant) as he navigates the criminal hills of Harlan County, Kentucky. The series deals with issues such as justice, morality and identity and reflects Django’s exploration of the complexities of right and wrong.
Both narratives feature insightful protagonists facing lawlessness, and like Django, Raylan Givens possesses a strong sense of justice and navigates a morally ambiguous world. Both stories depict the confrontation between law enforcers and thugs, offer bold portraits of the complexity of American borders and challenge the traditional dichotomy between good and evil.
4. The Son (2017-2019)
The Son, created by Philipp Meyer, Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman and adapted from Meyer’s acclaimed novel, is an epic western drama that explores generational conflicts, power struggles and the transformation of the American border. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Henry Garrett and Zahn McClarnon, it reflects Django’s complex characters and deep exploration of the human condition against a historical background.
Both narratives reveal intense family legacies in the Old West, with the son immersed in oil and cattle dynasties as Django navigates revenge and redemption. Both stories reveal the nuances of power, identity, and survival, making them deeply reflective of the American frontier experience.
Hostilities is one of the few films in which the rising star Timothee Chalamet had a small role – but this is not his greatest achievement. Starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike, it is a revisionist western based on the story of Donald E. Stewart.
Set in 1892, it follows the legendary army captain who reluctantly agreed to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.
6. The Sisters Brothers (2018)
The Sisters Brothers is a black comedy western starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed. Although it was highly praised by critics and even won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice International Film Festival, it turned out to be a box office bomb.
The film is actually very good. Set in 1850s Oregon, it follows the infamous Sister Brothers assassins (played by Reilly and Phoenix) who hunt down a gold prospector and his allies (played by Gyllenhaal and Ahmed).
7. Longmire (2012-2017)
In the spirit of cross-genre storytelling in Django Unchained, Longmire unfolds as a captivating neo-Western crime drama rich in intricate stories. Created by John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin and inspired by Craig Johnson’s novels, Longmire revolves around Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) and his quest for justice in Absaroka County, Wyoming.
Similar to Django, it explores the nuanced dynamics of crimes and challenges of jurisdiction. The series not only shows exciting criminal investigations, but also deals with the complexity of Native American life and weaves a carpet of contemporary challenges and cultural richness similar to the depth in Django’s narrative.
8. Godless (2017)
Godless, a western drama miniseries, is the brainchild of Scott Frank, who also wrote and directed. The series is set in 1884 and tells the story of a young outlaw on the run from his vengeful mentor, who finds refuge in a small town in New Mexico, inhabited predominantly by women. The outstanding cast includes Jack OConnell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who use their talents to bring this unique Western narrative to life.
Similar to Django Unchained, Godless is an exploration of the American frontier, in which complex characters are confronted with topics such as revenge, justice and personal redemption. Both narratives show the courage and moral ambiguity of the Old West and portray protagonists navigating through a harsh and unforgiving landscape while challenging conventional notions of heroism.
9. Hell on Wheels (2011-2016)
Hell On Wheels was conceived by Joe and Tony Gayton and offers a dark western saga parallel to the border themes in Django Unchained. Against the backdrop of the first construction of a transcontinental railway in the United States, the series features such talents as Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common and Dominique McElligott.
It immerses viewers in the turbulent world of the Union Pacific Railroad, a mobile camp known as Hell on wheels, and the various characters who struggle, fight and seek their fortune on the unforgiving Great Plains. Much like Django’s quest for justice, Hell On Wheels revolves around Cullen Bohannon (Mount), a former Confederate soldier who joins the railroad to avenge the murder of his family during the Civil War, and goes from a revenge-driven drifter to a key figure in railroad construction.
10. Deadwood (2004-2006)
Deadwood, created by David Milch, is a dark western series that immerses viewers in the lawless town of Deadwood, South Dakota, during the gold rush of the late 1800s. The cast includes Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane and John Hawkes. Both Deadwood and Django share themes of lawlessness and moral ambiguity in the Wild West.
They show charismatic antiheroes (like Al Swearengen in Deadwood and Django in Django) navigating a turbulent world and dealing with power dynamics and corruption. Both narratives provide unshakable portraits of the human condition against the background of a morally complex border, creating captivating stories about survival and revenge.