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Will Smith Is Quentin Tarantino's Choice To Play Django!

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 6, 2011 11:08 AM
52 Comments
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Well, I kinda hinted at this in the comment section of Sergio's post on who might be a frontrunner to play the lead role in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained... specifically, I referenced the Deadline article that mentioned Tarantino's intentions to cast "top shelf" for the film.

And it certainly doesn't get more "top shelf" than this.

The Hollywood Reporter just announced that Will Smith is indeed Tarantino's first choice to play Django, the freed slave who seeks to reunite with his slave wife, as he pairs up with a German bounty hunter to take down an evil plantation owner.

THR's report says that Will Smith has received the screenplay, but he hasn't yet accepted the offer.

Samuel L. Jackson is also mentioned, but not for the lead role; Rather, for one of the supporting slave parts.

There's more to this, but I just wanted to get this up as soon as I could, so stay tuned...

I'm reading the script for Django Unchained right now, and should finish it tonight; and I'll share my own spoiler-free thoughts on it over the weekend.

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52 Comments

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 12, 2011 12:04 PMReply

    Quentin Tarantino wants Lady Gaga to appear in one of his movies

    By Sophie Eager May 12, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    Movie director Quentin Tarantino reportedly wants Lady Gaga to appear in his new movie.

    The pair have been good pals for some time and the director even lent her his P**sy Wagon from Kill Bill for the video to her hit single Telephone.

    Tarantino, 48, is said to be keen to get the 25-year-old on board for a new movie.

    A source said to UK newspaper Daily Mirror: 'It's no secret Quentin's been eyeing up Gaga for a role in one of his up-and-coming films. And now they're both in Cannes, he's keen to show off his movie star credentials.'
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Hmmm could this be 'Django' and could she be slave massa's young daughter?

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 10, 2011 11:01 AMReply

    @CareyCarey Youse a brave man. The next time I’m in the hood for an extended period I will be giving out turkeys like Nino Brown!

    “Good convo. But I think we’ve thoroughly highjacked this post *lol*”Better us than the Reginald Dorsey fans…err family.

    @Jug “...wonder if he’s gonna write a cool, pop rap about slavery & killin’ white people?”

    I read it’s it’s gonna be called “Whip My Back” they gonna use the beat from Cameo’s “Back & Forth” Larry Blackmon is gonna sing the hook and everything. “You whip my back back and back and forth. Back back and forth forth your whip goes…”

  • CareyCarey | May 10, 2011 2:10 AMReply

    @CareyCarey “Now, we could ask WHY they never get it right?”

    Because I think that “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” LOL. But seriously, I think they go soft on racism and they don’t really know from which they speak. I was telling a female friend of mine that I walk around the local track when I can, mostly at night and she said “I couldn’t do that” and I thought yeah it’s probably not wise or safe for a female to be walking alone on some track at night. I said that to say certain things won’t cross your mind unless you live that life"

    Man, I think we've really brought something to pass on.

    re; Those that "don't know" or "don't care to know".

    I have saying: Why fix it, if it's not broke IN THEIR MIND!

    Dankwa, I have a little story that's very similar to yours and your female friend. I was with my wife in New Jersey, just across the river from New York. It was late at night but I decided to go to Harlem. My wife looked at me as if I was nuts, and asked me WTH I was doing. I said I was going out to experienc a little more of this thang called life. Same thing happened in Dallas Tx. We were there for a family reunion, but it was out in a rich black folks area of Plano Texas. So I decided to drive to the "getto". My wife had had enough. She said, " I will and have followed you to places unknown, but I get no pleasure out of driving through the getto" .

    But for me, having been raised in the projects until the age of 10, I have always sought to see what's on the other side (whatever side that may be) to see what I may be missing, or what I can learn from listening to others that are not "like me" on any given day.. How can I make a qualified opinion on the ways, habits, and means of others, if I have not sought first to understand, lived with them, exchanged opinions with them, or walked in their shoes? I'd be left with an opinion (for the most part) that was based on my belief/thoughts and not an experience.

    Good convo. But I think we've thoroughly highjacked this post *lol*

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 9, 2011 11:58 AMReply

    First I want to say GREAT CONVO EVERYONE! It’s always good to talk the merits of black stars, movies and roles. It’s good to come back to the discussion after seeing a lot of black movies at the Maryland Film Festival last weekend. I wrote about the films on my Twitter feed (@NotherBrother. Yeah shameless, but if I don’t promote it, who the heck will?) Anyway, I will tell you all that my favorite film was ‘Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone’

    Now back to the discussion at hand.

    @ Jug “Good Lord folks are stuck on the phrase “star-fucker” LOL It’s just a term of endearment :-D”

    I always thought “star-fucker” to mean a follower who hangs around a star (without benefit to the star) in hope of gain or advantage, like a parasite. I don’t really think that’s endearment, but correct me if I’m wrong…and I’m sure you will.

    @CareyCarey "Now, we could ask WHY they never get it right?"

    Because I think that "Either they don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's going on in the hood." LOL.

    But seriously, I think they go soft on racism and they don’t really know from which they speak. I was telling a female friend of mine that I walk around the local track when I can, mostly at night and she said “I couldn’t do that” and I thought yeah it’s probably not wise or safe for a female to be walking alone on some track at night. I said that to say certain things won’t cross your mind unless you live that life.

    How as a director can you guide an actor’s performance if you are afraid to push them? According to the DVD extras Danny Aiello in ‘Do the Right Thing’ didn’t want to say “nigger” until Spike Lee coaxed Giancarlo Esposito to provoke him with Italian racial slurs “Guinea bastard” etc. A white director I don’t think would have done that…and Sal would have also talked Mookie down from throwing that trashcan like some f*cking guy from ‘Car Wash’ (the Bill Duke/Ivan Dixon scene), but I digress…

    Yes it goes back to-“A conversation with Harry J Lennix”. I believe it fits this conversation. In one segment, the speaker said “we write what we know”
    ----------------------------------------------------
    "Personally, I didn’t have a problem with the actors in blackface because it was an essential element of the movie’s message. To a large degree, the message (movie) did it’s job if it disturbed you."

    I didn’t have a problem either and I agree that was the intent as I think Damon Wayans’ obnoxious voice in the film. It was meant to be pretentious. I think I’ve said this somewhere here before, but Damon Wayans’ and Tommy Davidson’s best performances on film.

  • Jug | May 9, 2011 5:53 AMReply

    Welp, this to me is startin' to look like a done deal y'all.

    http://www.deadline.com/2011/05/foreign-for-quentin-tarantinos-new-spaghetti-western-django-unchained-going-to-will-smiths-home-studio-sony-even-though-universal-tried-hard/

    ...wonder if he's gonna write a cool, pop rap about slavery & killin' white people?

  • jug | May 9, 2011 4:39 AMReply

    Good grief! Okay now this is getting silly, I think I have to put "sarcasm" or a smily face next to anything I write ( :-) sarcasm, jj, JUST KIDDING LOL).

    @dankwa-Yeah thats what it means. But in terms of projects, folks use it all the time, sarcastically, meaning "he who casts big names" LOL

    Basically, Tarantino doesn't make his money banking on unknowns, and I mean UNKNOWNS. And as my president says "Let me Be Clear"-There is nothing wrong with that (because he picks GOOD stars, not stars just to have stars). Just look back through these comments and not ONE person thought of Will Smith honestly. And when there was an a hint of it folks shot that idea down QUICK! The top choice was Idris, which means we all wanted an up & comer-for black folks our new "It" guy-not a mega-star who we thought could handle the role (He was great in THOR btw). But Tarantino had somethin' good for our collective asses LOL

    Tarantino wrote TRUE ROMANCE, so it makes sense he brought Christopher Walken over to PULP FICTION. Am I mad about it? Hell Nah, he was great! But could a "hey, I know that guy actor" have done that? Of course. Or could a "umm that guy" actor have done Bruce Willis' part, or Eric Stoltz's or Rosanna Arquette's?. These were big stars back then, so them being in the movie makes total Tarantino sense. But he often writes with people in mind, which means he has to know you (and PEOPLE have to know you, that's part of the fun) and LIKE your work. Might be too harsh to say "star fucker" but it drives the point home. Which is why Will Smith is such a shock, because, for those who've read it & even those that haven't, it does not read "Big Willy" anywhere in it. Doesn't even read Idris LOL

    And I totally agree about Will being above the movie. He's more of a personality. Not that he can't act or perform. But you have three types of actors really. Most actors can act, but they play varying shades of themselves, degrees on either side. Then you have the true chameleons, and I don't use that terms loosely. People do, I do not, these cats are borderline schizo they change so much. Honestly, Streep is one of those people, Daniel Day Lewis, would say Jeffrey Wright but he is starting to be the same in his movies (I think that's more a function of the roles he's cast in than anything else).

    And then you have personalities, like Will. We love them, not the characters they play. We really could care less about Capt Steven Hiller or Agent J or Jim West, we want to see Will Smith. Nothing wrong with it, everybody used to go see Jimmy Stewart, James Cagney, Clark Gable & Carey Grant but in certain instances it's wrong for the project. Can you imagine THE MATRIX with Will Smith? Yeah, he couldn't either, it's why he turned it down...well that and he didn't understand the concept LOL

    So with Django, that's what everyone is secretly worried about, they may voice it differently (he's soft, too corny, WTF?!? LOL), but that's it. We want Actors with Tarantino, with a capital "A". Folks were leery of Brad Pitt in INGLORIOUS (myself included) because he'd become such a media entity (not of his choosing) but we forgot about SEVEN, FIGHT CLUB, SNATCH & 12 MONKEYS. Dude can act.

    Geez....did I just unknowingly make a case for Will LMAO

    Lets see what Will can muster...

  • misha | May 9, 2011 2:16 AMReply

    Well Jug, when you throw such a phrase out there, you gotta expect folk to talk about it. :P

    You are right. QT doesn't just cast unknowns or working actors, they obviously have to be great actors. But again, the majority of the actors he's chosen weren't stars at the time. That's why Will being his first choice is surprising...well, that and the fact that Will just doesn't seem like a QT actor (or right for this role) to me.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 9, 2011 1:34 AMReply

    I must also say that some critic said about Tom Cruise (and I’m sure I said this somewhere here as well) that while Tom Cruise is a good actor (I totally agree) you never forget that he is Tom Cruise playing “some guy”. I think the same might apply to Will Smith.

  • steve | May 9, 2011 1:17 AMReply

    @Jug - I agree. This is far from over. But it sure is fun to talk about and speculate. Love him or hate him, Tarantino certainly has a knack for stirring up passionate conversations.

    BTW, I haven't seen Lawrence Bender being mentioned as a producer on this film, and if he's not involved, it's kind of a big deal isn't it? Bender was there from the very beginning with Tarantino and I believe was a producer in every one of his movies.

  • CareyCarey | May 8, 2011 12:40 PMReply

    "Here’s my thing I’ve rarely seen films directed by a white person that affected ME on a racial level. They seem to NEVER get it right"

    Dankwa, I am with you 100%.

    Now, we could ask WHY they never get it right? However, my opinion could not be constrained within the word limits of this comment box. And, to a large degree, the fault is not solely upon the white director.

    Re: Bamboozled.

    "As a black man it WAS disturbing to me to see them put on and perform in blackface"

    Personally, I didn't have a problem with the actors in blackface because it was an essential element of the movie's message. To a large degree, the message (movie) did it's job if it disturbed you. On another note (about Bamboozled) I didn't know what to expect from the movie. I just knew it was a movie by Spike Lee so I was all in. But you know what's funny, and interesting, if you ask 10 people of color what the movie was about, and what messages they received, odds are that many missed the point. Satire is not for everyone.

    On another note, you gotta (if you haven't) listen to the clip posted by Tambay

    "A conversation with Harry J Lennix". I believe it fits this conversation. In one segment, the speaker said "we write what we know"

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 8, 2011 11:17 AMReply

    CareyCarey I’ll go you one further ‘Bamboozled’! I went to see that opening weekend because I KNEW no one would go to see that film and I was right I was 1 of 7 (and that’s being generous) to see it. As a black man it WAS disturbing to me to see them put on and perform in blackface and subsequently from the DVD commentary I found out the actors were kind of f*cked up by the experience of putting it on as well.

    Here’s my thing I’ve rarely seen films directed by a white person that affected ME on a racial level. They seem to NEVER get it right. They don’t understand or go soft. YES I’m talking to you ‘Crash’ which I found EXTREMELY MAUDLIN.

    In any case a friend of mine said “Will Smith wants an Oscar BAD!” and I have to agree with that as well. I think he may see this as his way away from making the next sequel for money (MIB III) to gaining that highly desired Academy Award®.

  • Jug | May 8, 2011 10:59 AMReply

    Good Lord folks are stuck on the phrase "star-fucker" LOL It's just a term of endearment :-D

    For real, it's just that we were all thinking unknown, unknown, unknown or, as misha said, working actor. But in reality, that isn't QT's m.o. He grabs great actors first & foremost, so what I'm saying is NOT a knock (because I LOVE his casting choices and salute them) but an analysis of his films and removing my own admitted rose colored, romantic view of his movies. He hires actors we've all heard of, either because they're hot at the moment or because they've been part of film genres he's loved in the past. He said it best, "I'm a genre guy". NOTHING wrong with that, but he hires golks from genre films he loves quite often (Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, etc).

    So all of our ideas on S&A for Django were really coming from our thoughts on black actors that WE love, our want of a new black star, and for the few of us that read it, what was in the script. Well, his choice of Will Smith smacked all that down &, at least for me, got me to look at his casting choices for what they've ALWAYS been, no matter how brilliant-which was good for me.

    Oh, and as we've said it before, this thing is FAR from a done deal. Idris to Tyler, Leonardo to Christoph, Will to Keanu, shit happens baby! LOL

  • misha | May 8, 2011 10:21 AMReply

    QT is a "star-fucker?" Well, I don't know about that. Depends on what you mean by "star." LOL Yeah there have been a few actors who were stars at the time they were cast. But the majority were/are either great actors who were once stars (Grier, Travolta, Russell) or great actors who are more so "working actors" than stars (Rhames, Waltz, pre-PFJackson ).

    Pitt is undoubtedly a star but the difference between him in Basterds and Will in Django is that I could see Pitt in that particular role whereas Will just does't make much sense..other than him being a star.

    If he accepts, I can't say that I'll be looking forward to Will as Django. I just think there are better choices out there. But I won't be shocked if gives a good performance.

  • Jug | May 8, 2011 8:38 AMReply

    @steve-Oh believe that! I'm throwing my hat all up in the supporting roles (admittedly there is only one black male role that isn't super specific-HUGE & hulking-that speaks aside from Sam Jackson's role).

    And Zoe, yeah I worked with her & she's cool as hell but she's a stunt woman first. Actress a diiiiiistant fourth or fifth LOL

  • steve | May 8, 2011 8:18 AMReply

    @Jug -- thank you for the clarification. It appears I misunderstood and we're largely in agreement.

    "But there WAS this romantic idea that we all had that it would be an unknown or someone on the rise..." I agree with you that Quentin has never really used absolute unknowns for leading roles in his pictures (you brought up the two examples, Sam Jackson and Christoph Waltz although even with them they were well known in their relatively small acting spheres before their careers took off after Fiction and Basterds; the best example may be Zoe Bell in Death Proof but I didn't particularly care for her performance nor did her acting career take off, as far as I'm aware). But if Django is like any of his other films, there will be a good number of juicy supporting roles that QT could very well fill by casting some relative unknowns. And you know as well as I do that some of these smaller roles are true gems and quite memorable.

    I wasn't aware that DiCaprio was seriously considered for Landa. Perhaps I underestimated his French?

  • Jug | May 8, 2011 7:52 AMReply

    @Maitefa-Oh true indeed! I remember Sam in RAGTIME LOL But just saying there's this idea that he breaks new people when in fact he recycles vets or puts established actors in totally different circumstances.

    @steve-you're right. But she was referring to my response to the news and many of the responses across the film blogs (& the industry quite frankly) to this decision. It felt like "Oh my god QT, you do indie, you have street cred (as far as film is concerned) how could you go with the cookie cutter, easy star choice?!" And for us on S&A it was "AWW HELL NAH...you choose THIS DUDE?!?!" LOL But I was making the point that yeah, he LOVES powerful performances and he knows actors, studying acting, pushes actors to fit to his characters. Mark of a great director. Or even playwright (August Wilson, Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, Mamet).

    But there WAS this romantic idea that we all had that it would be an unknown or someone on the rise (Idris, Ejifor, Mackie, Wayans, REGINALD DORSEY LOL) and really, that's never been Quentin's thing-unless you talk about Tim Roth or Sam Jackson. Even Chris Tucker was a major 7 figure star before JACKIE BROWN. Not a knock of QT , which I admit it sounded like before using 'star-fucker', but more saying "okay, when he makes a movie, you're going to get an established star". The thing he DOESN'T do, is put BAD people in his movies because they're stars (altho the rumor about Brittany Spears in FASTER FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL turned my stomach).

    And as for DiCaprio..check it from Variety:

    Posted: Tue., Jul. 15, 2008, 5:29pm PT
    Quentin Tarantino seeks 'Bastards'
    Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio rumored for roles
    By Michael Fleming

    Quentin Tarantino's Weinstein Co. film "Inglorious Bastards," which has already garnered plenty of media coverage, is about to get more interesting.

    The producers are searching for a co-financing partner to handle offshore territories for the WWII drama with intersecting storylines. Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein will meet with five studios from Friday through Tuesday.

    After the director met Brad Pitt in France on Tuesday, those studios are already salivating over the expectation that Tarantino will land Pitt to play the key role of Aldo Raine. They'll be even keener if Tarantino's plan to meet Leonardo DiCaprio for another lead role goes well Thursday. Tarantino wants DiCaprio to play the role of Hans Landa.

    Several studios said the script is vintage Tarantino and they're eager to be in business with him at a reasonable price. DiCaprio and Pitt would be appearing in a Tarantino-helmed project for the first time, though Pitt previously spoke Tarantino-scripted dialogue in a small but memorable stoner turn in the Tony Scott-directed "True Romance."

    Pitt, who read "Inglorious Bastards" before studios, seems a strong logistical fit for the project. The film will shoot this fall in Germany and also in France, where Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been residing.

    ------------------------------------------------

    In all honesty, I can see Will doing well after the work he put in I AM LEGEND & ALI, never EVER been a question of his work ethic but I just felt like there so many more better choices. But oh well, who am I :-D...who wants cake? LMAO

  • Maitefa | May 8, 2011 6:56 AMReply

    Wow... bad news! Smith will probably spend half the movie making a face like the one at the top of this story. I actually think he's a good actor, just not right for this. Wish I could say I was surprised, but I'm not a Tarantino fan. And Jug, you say that Tarantino broke Sam Jackson, huh? Yeah, I guess so, but for me (not the industry) that nod would go to Spike for "Jungle Fever."

  • steve | May 8, 2011 6:45 AMReply

    "And she was right. He broke exactly two people, Sam Jackson & Christoph Waltz, and that was by accident."

    Jug, your statement (or rather your lady's statement as quoted by you) is 100% accurate but is not the whole truth. What people "admire" about QT as far as his casting ability is concerned has more to do with his strong conviction in his own cinematic taste and his willingness to go to bat for his choice no matter how unpopular at the time (see Travolta), his deep knowledge of film history as well as the performances of actors in his favorite films which allows him to have a wider vision than most in hollywood who would rather take the safe choice and cast the "hot" actor (see again Travolta vs Day-Lewis, Pam Grier and Robert Forster, Michael Parks, etc.), and his usually spot-on assessment of how the characters he writes would match up with the actors he picks.

    "Quentin Tarantino is a star-fucker." Again, accurate but doesn't paint the entire picture. His unabashed love for movie stars is well documented. Harvey Keitel, Travolta, DeNiro, Brad Pitt, Pam Grier...these are all movie stars that he absolutely adores and respects. But he also loves good actors that are not so well known. I think we can safely say that he simply loves both good and powerful performances in movies and knows who can deliver which type.

    The thing I admire most about his casting credo is his insistence that the actor fit the character first and foremost, and vise versa. It's widely known that Pitt and Tarantino have wanted to work with one another for a while but QT did not just want to have him in his movie for its own sake. He had to wait until he wrote the character that would be well served by Pitt acting the role. This is why I have a hard time believing your statement that he wrote the Landa character for DiCaprio. As much as I like DiCaprio's work, he can't speak French!!! And the Hans Landa is absolutely fluent in French, which is clear from the very first scene in the movie which also happens to be the very first scene that Tarantino wrote back in the 90's. Now I've heard that DiCaprio wanted desperately to be cast in the Landa role but QT wasn't convinced, same story with Fassbender who had to settle for the role of Hicox.

    As I said, I was skeptical at first with the Will Smith rumors, but if true, hell who am I to argue? I never wrote a script or directed a movie. I'm definitely a fan of QT's work though and I would be very interested to see how Smith fills the role, if he ends up being Django.

  • Jug | May 8, 2011 6:19 AMReply

    Can't believe I misspelled fiance :-O LOL

  • Jug | May 8, 2011 5:36 AMReply

    I'll say this. My finace, who is a brilliant woman & MUUUCH smarter than me, said this:

    "Quentin Tarantino is a star-fucker. Why are we acting like he "breaks people? He doesn't."

    And she was right. He broke exactly two people, Sam Jackson & Christoph Waltz, and that was by accident. Sam Jackson auditioned for the role of Mr Orange in RESERVOIR DOGS which went to Tim Roth and he was going to cast Paul Calderon as Jules in PULP FICTION (he was the bartender at Marcellus Wallace's club). Harvey Weinstein convinced him to come back and audition again, because Sam thought it was a reading (code for had a bad audition).

    But really, what "unknown" person has he broken? Robert DeNiro, Uma Thurman, Bridgett Fonda, Kurt Russell, Brad Pitt, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen. They were all either stars or steadily working, recognizable actors. He originally wrote the Hans Lands role for Leonardo DiCaprio. We've romanticized the hell outta this dude (or at least I have) so going to Will is more than par for the course, it is the standard!

    AND, in all her brilliance, she had a great point. Who's to say that Will didn't fight to get this role. Yes, it's not a done deal but that's a money thing. She pointed out that Will's last two movies have been critically destroyed-HANCOCK & SEVEN POUNDS. He needs a bonafied hit to substantiate his 25-30 mil a pic, and this movie could hit all bases (fanboys, black, Oscar people, loves of Will).

    And Carey, to tag on your reference to the Harry Lennix post, he talks about the critic who panned him in RADIO GOLF, saying "how do you know I'm bad?" Basically saying, you're looking at it from the eyes of a white man saying "you're not what I deem a black person to be, so your performance wasn't good" and his subsequent listing of the black Oscar winners since Poitier and what they've won for-under the surface, the inherent stereotypes of black people. Well, an article in The Hollywood Reporter says this:

    "The actor manages his image very carefully, but the part is heroic and could be iconic. And let’s not forget that Denzel Washington won his two Oscars playing characters who used the N-word. "

    Telling indeed...

  • steve | May 8, 2011 4:06 AMReply

    It's not surprising that QT is going after Will Smith, unarguably one of the select few bona fide super stars in the world today (Pitt, DiCaprio, Cruise, maybe, and who else?). Part of it must be getting the audiences to check out a movie with a controversial topic/story in the opening weekend (although QT will draw a certain number of his own fans no matter what) and the Weinsteins probably are not in the financial position to take significant risks w/o someone like Smith "carrying" the film, even if it's Tarantino.

    But I wonder if a significant thought in QT's mind is considering what Sergio Leone did by casting Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time...Up till that point, Fonda only really played the hero, protagonist roles and it was Leone's inspired idea to use him as the main villian, a vicious cold-hearted one at that. And of course that is one of the greatest westerns ever filmed and Leone is QT's favorite director.

    In any event, I was a little skeptical at first but I trust QT's intuition (he above any other director deserves the benefit of the doubt in his casting choices) and I believe Will Smith could do a great job. He still has a youthful face and so long as he and Tarantino manage to temper down Smith's comedic instincts, I think he could carry it off w/o any problems.

    In short, I hope Django comes out in 2012!!

  • misha | May 7, 2011 12:55 PMReply

    LOL Tovah, Will being as menacing as Justin Bieber is likely why he's Tarantino's first choice. If there's ANY chance that white folk are going to spend money to see this film, Will is the man for the job. As has already been pointed out here, Will is the safe choice...he knows how to put (white) butts in the seat.

    I was initially surprised and disappointed by this because Tarantino likes to go against the grain and casting Will is the total opposite of that. But it all makes sense...unfortunately.

    CareyCarey, you a mess. LOL

  • CareyCarey | May 7, 2011 9:40 AMReply

    "Wanna bet Smith is going to pass on it?"

    See, that's what I get for reading every third line. I'm sitting here feeling like Sammy Sausage Head because I thought this was a done deal? You mean to tell me I've done all this damn typing and it's just a wish list?!

    KIss me ass, I'll be a black mothers-day is tomorrow. :-)

  • misha | May 7, 2011 8:52 AMReply

    LOL Touche, Jug. Touche.

  • Harlepolis | May 7, 2011 8:45 AMReply

    But course,,,,, who else would they cast beside the other obvious choice, Denzel?

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 7, 2011 8:33 AMReply

    "White folks run from anything associated with “race” when presented by a black man. Don’t no white folks desire to see all their nasty laundry laying in plain view… and coming from a black man?! NOtta, exist stage left."

    I TOTALLY AGREE! Every white person SWORE 'Do the Right Thing' would cause race riots all across the country.

  • Jug | May 7, 2011 8:01 AMReply

    As much as it PISSES me off, Carey makes a great god damn point. The ultimate wolf in sheeps clothing, a Trojan Horse.

    ....Damn you Carey LMAO

  • Vanessa | May 7, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    Why isn't Anthony Mackie being considered?? and why does he still get slept on? ugh. Can I get Quentin's email? lol

    Also I have a feeling the female slave role will go to....drum roll please......Zoe Saldana!

    Very predictable.

  • ladyb | May 7, 2011 7:00 AMReply

    Will Smith?? oh brother...*sigh* I can only hope that he passes on it.

  • Action16 | May 7, 2011 6:36 AMReply

    Reginald VelJohnson.

  • Jug | May 7, 2011 6:35 AMReply

    @misha-You mean like Keanu Reeves & THE MATRIX? According to his bank account, he's living well LOL

  • misha | May 7, 2011 5:23 AMReply

    @Sergio, One could only hope. But how would another actor live with knowing they were second choice to Will's corny behind? lol

  • Jug | May 7, 2011 5:03 AMReply

    All Reginald T Dorsey's people's heads just exploded...

  • CareyCarey | May 7, 2011 4:14 AMReply

    **Whatsup jug**

    I had to get in on some of this. Oh yeah, when Will Smith, Halle Berry or Tyler Perry name hits this board, I knew chocolate tear drop would be falling on our heads. But, in the words of Forrest Gump: My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get...

    So let me put my stake in the ground on the side of those who believe Will Smith will absolutely kill this part and the movie will get PAID. Let me tell you why I feel that way. Listen, lets just start with the director. BAM! Money baby. Now, lets move on to Will Smith... sing along if you know the words “O’jay’s For The Love Of Money”...

    Money money money money, money
    Some people got to have it
    Some people really need it
    Listen to me y'all, do things, do things, do bad things with it
    You wanna do things, do things, do things, good things with it
    Talk about cash money, money
    Talk about cash money- dollar bills, yall

    Will Smith is the money man. But wait, this pie is not done. Lets see, I believe it’s safe to say that film adaptation of most books, seldom capture the essence of said book. Well, I haven’t read every book ever printed, but from my personal experience, there’s only been a few movies that did the book justice.

    Anyway, consider the following. When last checked in 2009...

    1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
    42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
    80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
    70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

    So, other than our 2 most ferocious reader (here at S & A), Jug & Tambay, I think it’s safe to say few have read this book. Consequently, considering all the factors mentioned above and the storyline, Will Smith is a perfect choice! Oh, and it goes deeper. S & A’s live cast, asked the question: Why didn’t and/or Could a black director handle this type of movie? The short answer (imo) Racism. Now, before I go to deep, Will Smith has always been Hollywood’s “safe” negro. White America trusts Will. Hell, he’s saved America in several pictures. But check this, here’s the big bang. White folks run from anything associated with “race” when presented by a black man. Don’t no white folks desire to see all their nasty laundry laying in plain view... and coming from a black man?! NOtta, exist stage left. And as Sergio’s and Jug’s blood lust runs rampate, white folks don’t want to see themselves getting FU*KED UP by a brotha. But Willie Smith and Tarantino can be the spooks who sits by this door.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 7, 2011 3:20 AMReply

    I think Will could do it YES bring some edge to one of his roles. I think Will is a good actor and Leading Man (which is hard). I just hope Will makes a good movie. I had to think and I don't think I REALLY enjoyed a Will Smith movie since 'Men in Black' [1].

  • Sergio | May 7, 2011 2:55 AMReply

    Wanna bet Smith is going to pass on it?

  • B | May 7, 2011 2:32 AMReply

    @Tovah: I heart you. lol.

  • B | May 7, 2011 2:30 AMReply

    WTF! I am so f-ing mad right now. Did he not watch Wild Wild West? That movie was a piece of crap, on. all. levels.

  • Tovah | May 7, 2011 2:17 AMReply

    Now, this is the story all about how
    My life got flipped-turned upside down
    And I'd like to take a minute
    Just sit right there
    I'll tell you how I became a free man and filled some white folks with fear.

    In West Africa born and raised
    In the village is where I spent most of my days.
    Chillin' out maxin', relaxin' all cool
    And all playing Mancala outside of school
    When a couple of guys, who were up to no good
    Started stealing people in my neighborhood
    I got in one little fight and my ass got snared
    They said "you're getting on this ship and we're taking your spear"...


    Seriously, though. Will Smith is about as menacing to me as Justin Bieber. But if they really must cast him, I hope they cast Jada as his wife. Now I can see her beating up some slave masters.

  • CareyCarey | May 7, 2011 1:58 AMReply

    Dankwa, good catch, I was searching for an example (and ran out of space) but I didn't even think of Do The Right Thing, yep. I did think of Malcolm X. The name alone kept black folks and whites sitting at home. Many black folks (even) feared Malcolm's message. and of course, most white folks wanted nothing to do with him. So controversial topic, controversial Spike Lee and the "extremist" Malcolm X , was a road map to Controversy and possibly less ticket sales.

    Consequently, I can't think of a black director who could pull this off. To many odds going against that. However, take out Malcolm and Mookie & Radio Raheem, and insert sensitive 7 Pounds Will "Captain Steven Hiller" Smith, aka, The "light skinned" Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and he who loves to use the word "nigger", white guy Quentin Terantino,.. and “Wah-Lah” or “Voila" (for the french speaking crowd) there it is, a road map to success.

    *waving @ misha*

  • misha | May 6, 2011 12:17 PMReply

    OH, HELL NO! What the???...how in the??? This is a joke, right? I'm genuinely surprised....and disappointed. I know Will is as big of a name there is when it comes to black actors but he would be at the bottom of my list. He's just too corny for me...even when he's being all masculine and stuff. No Idris but Will??? Lawd. I was really interested in this but now? Not so much. :(

    Tarantino took the safe (and obvious) route here, which is perhaps the most disappointing part of this. But alas, as JMac said, not even Tarantino is immune to the pressures of casting a big name, apparently.

  • Jug | May 6, 2011 12:12 PMReply

    Variety is now reporting that Tarantino wrote it with Will in mind...WTF?!? Man, either my spidey sense is waay off or that is some bullshit LOL

    They're also saying Sam Jack would be Stephen, the old slave in the script. Didn't expect that one, but it makes sense.

    But, it still is just an offer, not a sign on the dotted line, day one of production, walk the red carpet done deal.

    Could be Tyler Perry before it's all over with

  • Zeus | May 6, 2011 12:10 PMReply

    Good stuff. Looking forward to seeing Quentin bring some edge to Will.

    He wasn't joking when he said 'top shelf'.

  • Jug | May 6, 2011 11:59 AMReply

    JMac-LMAO Right?!? It coulda been Chris Pine, Shia LeBouf or Channing Tatum while you bullshittin' LOL

  • Ricky.Horne.Jr. | May 6, 2011 11:57 AMReply

    This whole concept is crazy, as I was watching INGLORIOUS I kept thinking how dope it would be to do a slave revolt story in a similar way... Whitey beat me to it.

  • JMac | May 6, 2011 11:51 AMReply

    I guess not even QT is immune to the pressures of casting a "big name" to get his movie shown. Oh well. At least it is a black actor.

  • Mr. Bubbles | May 6, 2011 11:48 AMReply

    Anthony Mackie I know could do it!!

  • Jug | May 6, 2011 11:47 AMReply

    Cynthia-Trust, this is NOT about what was written, which is funny because it's Tarantino's choice so I guess he had Will in mind. He does that, will take an actor and have them do stuff completely outside their brand ('cept for Pam Grier & Sam Jack...hmm I wonder...)

    But the script talks about Django being skinny & he obviously is younger than the German Bounty Hunter. Physically speaking, can you see Idris, Issac, Djimon, Ving Rhames, Michael Clarke Duncan or any other major black actor out there not being a contemporary of Waltz, much less being his "pupil"? There's more to the pupil than just schooling him on killing so it just didn't feel like a 40 year old man, slave or no slave.

    Not to mention the script talks about the "other big niggas" being waaay bigger than him, so his size is an issue. BUT, no size is an issue when it comes to big Willy!

    Wow...that sounded real bad LMBAO

    Anyway, truly a top shelf decision. Not that Will can't do it, I just think there are better choices

  • Cynthia | May 6, 2011 11:34 AMReply

    Ok...Why am I reading that, based on the script that everyone else has read, the part would go to a "small" stature guy. Hello...that doesn't describe Will Smith! And isn't Will actually OLDER than Idris?

  • Jug | May 6, 2011 11:27 AMReply

    guess I was waaaay off base about the age vibe in the script too LOL

    Will needed something to get his cred back...

  • incrediblejeff | May 6, 2011 11:27 AMReply

    I could see this working out well if Smith is cast.Not my first choice,but I like Smith.

  • Jug | May 6, 2011 11:26 AMReply

    ...honestly might be one of the worst castings of the year...

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