Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Idris Elba Tweets Spark Speculation Of An Audition For Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'

The Playlist By The Playlist | The Playlist May 30, 2011 at 6:33AM

English actor Idris Elba, still best known as Stringer Bell from David Simon's epic HBO series, "The Wire," tweeted this weekend, "Having one of the biggest meetings of my professional life today...meeting a very controversial director for a very controversial part." And the Internet pretty much lit up with speculation.
20


English actor Idris Elba, still best known as Stringer Bell from David Simon's epic HBO series, "The Wire," tweeted this weekend, "Having one of the biggest meetings of my professional life today...meeting a very controversial director for a very controversial part." And the Internet pretty much lit up with speculation.

"I wish I could tell you more but...in due time," he added."On the plane to the destination of my fate.....ok.... a lil dramatic....destination of my life..?"

Almost immediately, tweeps and pundits started asking: what kind of potentially major role makes Idris Elba so melodramatic? Could it be the lead role in Quentin Tarantino's slavery epic, "Django Unchained"? After all, "Django Unchained" is a controversial powder keg of racial politics and what other African American roles have made this much of a stir of late? Our IndieWIRE brethren at Shadow & Act were the first to ask and pose this question and we'll be honest, the thought crossed our minds immediately as well.

But wait, isn't Will Smith in line for the lead part of an American slave who teams up with a German bounty hunter to track down his enslaved wife and wreak havoc and revenge on all those that cross their path? Yes, Quentin Tarantino went as far as letting Sony land foreign rights to the picture because Sony is essentially the home of Will Smith (the Weinstein Company has domestic rights, natch). So what's going on exactly?

Well, one of several things is possible, but of course this is all fun speculation, but here goes.

1) The role is too controversial for Will Smith's clean-cut, African-American version of Tom Cruise's image and he's decided to politely decline the role.

2) Elba could easily be auditioning for another role in the film, though yes, Django is the plum role in the film. Perhaps it's possible, that Samuel L. Jackson is not interested in the role of Stephen, the black slave who is the right hand man of the main villain in the picture, and Elba is auditioning for the part instead. Arguably, since Stephen is a house slave who colludes with his white master and hates on his fellow black slaves the role is more controversial than the Django character.

3) Elba is actually auditioning for Marvel's Luke Cage and has the internet all fooled. J/k.

4) Any # of things we all aren't privy too, an entirely different role, etc.

The hope is choice no. 1, frankly. While we still prefer our casting pick of fellow "The Wire" alumnus Michael K. Williams, almost any African American actor seems better than the squeaky-clean Will Smith. Yes, Smith can act when he wants to and taking the role could be a very subversive move and it ensures an major box-office both domestically and internationally, but as far as interesting and adventurous casting and letting a great thespian take the role, we can probably think of a dozen actors we'd rather see in the part.

So is Idris Elba auditioning for the lead or any part in "Django Unchained"? It's possible, but to say definitely would be speaking without any facts. To be honest, this writer would be pleased as punch if the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had moved on, but we assume we'll know more soon; these various reports will precipitate further news during this upcoming week.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Genre Films, Idris Elba, Django Unchained


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates