We hope Quentin Tarantino appreciates how reliable Kurt Russell is. The director originally cast Mickey Rourke as the psychotic Stuntman Mike in his indulgent nadir "Death Proof," but Rourke and Tarantino seemed to fall out before filming began. Russell, the iconic lead of '80s pictures like "The Thing" and "Big Trouble In Little China," stepped in, to great effect, and was easily the best thing in the film. Now, five years on, Russell seems to have repeated the favor.
Kevin Costner was reported months back to be in talks to play Ace Woody, the mandingo-training right-hand-man of the villainous Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Tarantino's sure-to-be-controversial Western "Django Unchained," but in the last few weeks, Costner fell out thanks to scheduling conflicts. Now, just as "Tombstone" triumphed over "Wyatt Earp," Russell now looks to have replaced Costner, as The Wrap says The Weinstein Company have confirmed that the actor (who hasn't really been seen on screen since his last Tarantino picture) is in negotiations to take over the role.
It's a pretty solid choice, all in all. It perhaps loses some of the subversiveness of Costner in the role, but Russell will undoubtedly do a good job. And he's not the only one who's come on board the project; The Hollywood Reporter brings news that Laura Cayouette, who had a bit part in "Kill Bill Volume Two," has signed on to play Candie's sister, Lara-Lee, in the film. When we read the script we suggested Christina Hendricks for the part, and it seems we weren't a million miles away. Or at least we ticked the 'redhead' box. The pair join DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L Jackson, Gerald McRaney, Dennis Christopher and, it seems, Michael K. Williams, in the film, which The Weinstein Company will release on December 25th, 2012.