By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 22, 2011 at 1:16AM
"Will Smith is out! Inside sources tell me that Tarantino has chosen Oscar winner @iamjamiefoxx to play Django!"
Words Tweeted by journalist Jeff Goldsmith late last night, and picked up this morning by our indieWIRE comrades The Playlist who qualify Goldsmith's credibility by reminding us that he's scooped previous major stories about Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, before they were formerly announced - like news about Tarantino's interest in Will Smith for the slave lead role, and later Leonardo DiCaprio‘s involvement - both of which he posted on Twitter before the trade rags officially announced each.
So, is Goldsmith right about this as well? We'll see... he certainly has the track record; but I don't think I'll stamp it delivered until an official press release from the Weinsteins, or Tarantino himself, is distributed
As for Jamie Foxx in the title role, which was rumored a week or two ago... as I said back then, he's a much better fit for it than Will Smith or Idris Elba, given the script I read. And actually, the more I think about it, the more ideal I think he is.
As I said in my review of the script, Django isn't what I'd consider your typical leading man role, as he spends a majority of the script as an apprentice, freed from slavery and instructed under the tutelage of the character Christoph Waltz will play. He's more like Waltz's shadow for much of the story, and finally gets his moment to shine, but not until towards the end of the last act. And I never thought that Will Smith would go for that!
Also, he and Idris are just not the right size. The script calls for a smaller-framed actor; both Idris and Will are big guys. Not Dwayne Johnson massive, but definitely not what the Django script calls for. Jamie is certainly no scrawny slouch either, but I think you get the picture...
Lastly, there's humor in this - not a knee-slapping kind of humor, but more subtle and smart; deadpan even. I think Jamie can do both well enough.
So, let's wait and see what develops...