By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 18, 2011 at 7:23AM
Quentin Tarantino may not have landed the biggest movie star on the planet, Will Smith, for his controversy-bomb slavery Western "Django Unchained," but that doesn't mean he's starving for A-listers: Jamie Foxx has taken over the title part, originally intended for Smith, while Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz is going to be Dr. King Schultz, Django's pal and mentor, Leonardo DiCaprio will take on the principle villain (and appears to be locked in now), slave-trader Calvin Candie, and Samuel L. Jackson will be Candie's principal house slave, Stephen. And now, another big name has signed on, making the film perhaps Tarantino's most traditionally starry to date.
Deadline reports that Kevin Costner is in talks to play Ace Woody, the mandingo trainer who serves as Candie's right-hand-man -- a part that, when we made our casting suggestions a few months back, we suggested Danny McBride for. Different strokes for different folks... Costner may not be the megastar he was in the mid 1990s, but he's still a name with cachet, and he'll be in another giant film at the end of 2012, as he's playing Pa Kent in "The Man Of Steel" -- so it looks like, happily, the likes of "Swing Vote" and "Mr. Brooks" are behind him.
It's actually a pretty ace bit of casting, playing neatly against type -- we're perhaps surprised that Costner's prepared to take what is a relatively small role, but it's a smart move on his part, and a promising one for the film. As for the rest of the cast, Mike Fleming also reports that Tarantino is looking to find a newcomer for the part of Broomhilda, Django's wife -- not entirely surprising, considering the amount of nudity in the script, but it suggests that Kerry Washington, who was mentioned not long ago, is now out of the running. Filming will start later in the year, and the film will hit theaters on December 25, 2012.