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Quentin Tarantino Chooses Jamie Foxx For "Django Unchained"?

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 22, 2011 1:16 AM
10 Comments
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"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...

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10 Comments

  • Neziah | June 22, 2011 11:58 AMReply

    Foxx is a chameleon, so he could surprise everyone and turn in a great performance.

  • Vanessa | June 22, 2011 6:21 AMReply

    I'm glad Will and Idris turned it down. This script does have racial fetish and exploitation all over it. I hope it fails actually. Tarantino shouldn't touch this subject. I think he's racist himself.

    Sorry! I'm not having a great day and I'm having a hard time being subtle and rational. :-/

  • Lynn | June 22, 2011 5:38 AMReply

    I'm back S &A!!! :)

    I guess the role is better suited for someone like Jamie Foxx I guess we just gonna have to wait and see.

  • cynisright | June 22, 2011 5:32 AMReply

    I agree with SOB. I am a fan of Tarentino's work but this sounds like it is outside his scope of writing/directing.

  • CareyCarey | June 22, 2011 5:18 AMReply

    I believe people will get what they are looking for.

    The "script" will have little to do with the final product. It will rest in the hands of the vision of the director and the performances of the actors.

    When I look at the history of Tarantino's films, and then plug in any other director, the movies would be totally different films, regardless of the script. Now hold on, cuz I am going somewhere.

    Let’s go back to the year 1994, John Travolta was not the most in demand actor at that time, and Samuel Jackson was no Denzel. The movie is called Pulp Fiction. Let’s add a few other actors... Tim Roth? Amanda Plummer and a couple of other guys, Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames. We’ve come to discover that each of those actors exhibited a quality and performance that sets them apart from many actors. That is, they have a huge range when given the proper direction and roles outside the boundaries of their past performances.

    The same can be said about Reservoir Dogs and Micheal Madsen, Chris Penn, Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi, the year is 1992! It was the individual performances that carried that movie. Each of them had a brilliance all their own. And the directors input had to play a huge hand in the films popularity.

    Now in walks Inglorious Bastards. Who the hell is Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger? Brad Pitt, what the hell is he going to do in this Nazi Germany flick? Well, I doubt if the answers could be found in the script. Facial expressions, voice tones, subtle body movements and all the characteristics of actors that have great range, cannot be found in the script. And please excuse me, but I have to say this one more time.... Idris has not shown me that he fit in that group. Where would he have fit in any of the above movies?

    In short, I am looking for a very entertaining film. I am not going to super analyze the movie. Nope, I am not looking for political messages.

  • dcmoviegirl | June 22, 2011 3:41 AMReply

    I still think the script is salvageable.

    It's just needs a good rewrite for more characterization for the black players, make sure it's their POV (especially the black lead actress) and less of Tarantino's racial fetishizing.

  • eshowoman, the cranky film critic | June 22, 2011 2:52 AMReply

    .....with a side order of Uncle Tomisms

  • Monique | June 22, 2011 2:48 AMReply

    The livecast is ON tonight! Hmm indeed!

  • Tamara | June 22, 2011 2:29 AMReply

    -_-

    Hmm...

  • sonofbaldwin | June 22, 2011 2:14 AMReply

    Oh, no.

    I predict coonanigans and stepinfetchitry.

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