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Jamie Foxx Chosen For The Lead Role In Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 22, 2011 1:05 AM
21 Comments
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Update: Several sources, including the L.A. Times, Variety and Deadline are now calling this a fait accompli. It looks like all that needs to happen is some signing of contracts.

Yes, this bit of news is coming just from a tweet right now, but it comes from someone who has been on point for some of the biggest news surrounding Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" thus far. Former Creative Screenwriting magazine Senior Editor and host of "The Q&A" podcast Jeff Goldsmith tweeted yesterday evening, “Will Smith is out! Inside sources tell me that Tarantino has chosen Oscar winner @iamjamiefoxx to play Django! #fb” If you have your doubts, Goldsmith was one of, if not the first person to tweet about Will Smith‘s interest in Quentin Tarantino’s Spaghetti Western slavery epic. And he also was hip to Leonardo DiCaprio's involvement before it got to the trades. Clearly, Goldsmith's sources are pretty well informed.

While Quentin Tarantino actively sought out Will Smith for the lead role -- with the actor's longtime home Sony landing the foreign film rights in an effort to lure Smith -- the writing has been on the wall for a while now. With days turning to weeks, it quickly became apparent Smith might not be so hot on the role and assortment of other names including Jamie Foxx, Idris Elba and Chris Tucker began entering the mix. In fact, if you like a good conspiracy, there have been some suggestions that the Weinsteins involvement in Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology skewering "The Master" put Smith off of working with the studio completely, but of course, that's just a rumor. However, Foxx stepping into the lead role is frankly, just as strong a substitute both from both a business and artistic standpoint.

Not only is Foxx a big enough star to keep the backers happy in lieu of Smith, but he’s also a good fit for the role—not as imposing as Elba (Django is described as being fairly slight), not as annoying as Tucker -- with action experience and an ability to turn out good performances when he’s not slumming it in “Valentine’s Day” and “Law Abiding Citizen.” It should also be noted, we were also told a couple weeks ago by Warner Bros. that they’d been pursuing Foxx for a role in “Gangster Squad,” but that the scheduling didn’t work out—was Foxx holding out for “Django Unchained?”

Add it all up, and we're pretty sure a story will be hitting the trades about Foxx being in negotiations for the film in the near future (it was about a week between the DiCaprio tweet and the news hitting outlets). Should it all work out, he’d join Christoph Waltz, as benevolent German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultze, Samuel L. Jackson as the villain’s right-hand man and head house-slave Stephen, and Leonardo Di Caprio, as the villain, Calvin Candie (who last we heard was still in talks). "Django Unchained" hits theaters on Christmas Day 2012

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21 Comments

  • mary | June 23, 2011 1:58 AMReply

    Thank you, Edward. I should had never trusted MetroPulse again.....

  • #truth | June 23, 2011 1:46 AMReply

    http://swamivisions.com/post/6799918053/hollywood-thetan-watch-paul-thomas-anderson-vs-the

  • Edward Davis | June 23, 2011 1:44 AMReply

    Mary, that MetroPulse article you speak of also says DiCaprio is in line to Django. Don't believe everything you read.

    http://www.metropulse.com/news/2011/jun/09/inside-skinny-quentin-tarantinos-new-movie-django/

    On the other hand, QT told our man that Leonardo DiCaprio, who has been rumored to be set for a different role in the film, is hopefully only days away from being finalized for the role of Django; a seemingly more obvious choice, given the apparent character continuity and his tolerably close resemblance to the young Nero.

    Clearly the writer has no clue what's going on here.

  • mary | June 23, 2011 1:34 AMReply

    According to Hollywood Reporter, Christopher Nolan and WB had officially offered the lead role of “Inception” to Will Smith and Brad Pitt sequentially, but Nolan required them to accept the offer in 48 hours, but both actors didn’t do so. So Nolan offered the role to Leonardo DiCaprio, who accepted the offer quickly.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/list-directors-43873

    Anyway, the director always want to says that their finally cast were their original choice. According to Metro Pulse, looks like Quentin Tarantino said to some people that Will Smith was never in in discussion to play Django.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | June 22, 2011 9:13 AMReply

    He didn't "pass" on "Inception." WB suggested Will Smith or Brad Pitt as possible leads for the film to Christopher Nolan, and the rest, as they say, is history.

  • Mr Anonymous | June 22, 2011 9:11 AMReply

    Wait! Will Smith passed on Inception? What?! Seriously???

    Is that true? First time i've ever heard of that. What part was he up for, Dicaprio's?

    If that is true then he is a bigger idiot than i first thought!
    I can't remember the last time he made a truly exciting film, one which isn't a sequel or some schmaltzy drama.

  • rockty | June 22, 2011 8:56 AMReply

    I still wish they picked Anthony Mackie.

  • rockty | June 22, 2011 8:55 AMReply

    I still wish they picked Anthony Mackie.

  • gonad | June 22, 2011 7:42 AMReply

    Maybe that dude that made the Luke Cage audition tape should play Django. Old spice guy.

  • Sean | June 22, 2011 7:36 AMReply

    I'm glad Smith is out and Foxx is in (even though I don't like him that much, he seems right for the role), I can't help but feel that Anthony Mackie should have got the role. The guy has amazing acting chops. And to me, he seems perfect for the role.

  • mary | June 22, 2011 6:25 AMReply

    Will Smith plays too safe; he even passed on “Inception” (which went on grossing higher than any Will Smith starrer in recent ten years).

    I hadn’t read the script, but Jamie Foxx would be a acceptable choice for financial standpoint. He is a Best Actor Oscar winner, and some his recent films like “Miami Vice” and “Valentine’s Day” performed respectfully at overseas box office. He and Leonardo DiCaprio should be enough for The Weinstein Company and Sony to greenlight “Django Unchained”.

  • Glass | June 22, 2011 6:19 AMReply

    Will Smith just insists on never acting in a truly great movie in his life. Django might be a total trainwreck for all I know, but you have a chance of making something great and lasting with Tarantino rather than Peter Berg or that boring Gabriele Muccino guy.

    He'll go down in history as a very, very rich man. With very, very rich children.

  • gonad | June 22, 2011 4:43 AMReply

    Have Waltz and Sam Jackson been officially confirmed? Has anybody?

  • Z | June 22, 2011 3:08 AMReply

    disappointing...Foxx is terrible, not to mention he's like 45 years old.

  • Abner | June 22, 2011 2:41 AMReply

    Grape wins. Why hasn't Ejiofor been thrown in the mix?

  • Sid | June 22, 2011 2:39 AMReply

    Was hoping Anthony Mackie or Michael Williams (Omar from The Wire) would get a shot at this one. Not feeling Jamie Foxx for this role...

  • Alex | June 22, 2011 2:22 AMReply

    I wasn't being completely serious about Chris Tucker.

    I think he has more range than people might think. More importantly, he is such a random choice for this role that he is perfect for it. Tarantino cemented his box-office drawcard in DiCaprio, so this was a great chance to cast that guy from Rush Hour in an overlong, self-referential and potentially provocative film about slavery and racism.

    On average, his films have grossed $90 million worldwide. I'm not sure you can say that about Jamie Foxx. Also, he was annoying in Ray and his performance in The Soloist was embarrassing. I really liked him in Collateral though - that movie is underrated.

  • The Playlist | June 22, 2011 2:02 AMReply

    Have you seen Chris Tucker lately? Dude hasn't acted in like 5-6 years and is super bloated. I can understand why Tarantino didn't choose him. He doesn't have the range necessary either.

  • James | June 22, 2011 2:01 AMReply

    That Will Smith/Scientology/Weinstein rumor is a great f*cking rumor. Let's all perpetuate that! Hurrah for rumors!

  • Alex | June 22, 2011 1:55 AMReply

    Chris Tucker makes the most sense from an artistic and commercial standpoint. Missed opportunity.

  • Nik Grape | June 22, 2011 1:52 AMReply

    Ugh... I heard Foxx passed but that word came from a forum with no link to the story so I'd trust this more....

    I still think Chiwetel Ejiofor would be the best fit for the role.

    Foxx can really be annoying at times.

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