Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Django Unchained is almost definitely going to be one of the best films of 2012. That’s pretty much a given. The casting has been so good so far, and currently includes Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony LaPaglia, and to top it all off, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Essentially, there are already about a million reasons why we should be excited about this. Actor Garret Dillahunt, via Collider, said that he visited the set of Tarantino’s next film, and was nice enough to post a few photos of the set too. And they look pretty awesome.

Tarantino’s “Southern,” his take on the Spaghetti Western set in the South, is centred on Foxx in the role of Django,

“a slave who’s liberated by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter and taught the tricks of the trade by his mentor. Django’s major goal in life is to recover his wife, and to do it he needs to get past the villainous ranch owner Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), who runs Candyland, a despicable club and plantation in Mississippi where female slaves are exploited as sex objects and males are pitted against each other in “mandingo”-style death matches. Candie is a slave’s worst nightmare, and that is where Django’s wife Broomhilda is an abused slave.”

Apparently the film is shooting on the same set as HBO’s now-cancelled Deadwood, and so fans of the show might well recognise these sets. As Dillahunt says in one of his tweets, “It’ll always be #Deadwood to me.”

The film will open in the US on Christmas Day and then come to cinemas in the UK on Boxing Day this year, putting it in prime position to go to the Oscars this time next year. DiCaprio will be competing against himself, in a sense, at the box office for the final week of December, with Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby also set for a Christmas Day release in the States. All signs point to a fantastic end to the year at the cinema. I can’t wait. As always with these first images, click to enlarge.

And in case you missed it, with awards season currently in full swing, you can catch up on Tarantino’s Top Films of 2011 that we reported last month and see how they compare to your own favourites from last year.