Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Nothing To See Here: There's Little Reason To Be Worried About 'Django Unchained'

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 11, 2012 at 12:22PM

Let's try and keep this brief, shall we? Two actors dropped out of Quentin Tarantino's would-be subversive Western cum slave epic "Django Unchained" this week -- to be more exact, the news of these two actors dropping out of the film came out this week. Presumably this actually happened a while ago. Sacha Baron Cohen had to exit the film to do press for his upcoming comedy, "The Dictator," and he and his people surely gave Tarantino and the producers a heads up about this, so it came as no sudden surprise.
17
Actors leave Django Unchained

Let's try and keep this brief, shall we? Two actors dropped out of Quentin Tarantino's would-be subversive Western cum slave epic "Django Unchained" this week -- to be more exact, the news of these two actors dropping out of the film came out this week. Presumably this actually happened a while ago. Sacha Baron Cohen had to exit the film to do press for his upcoming comedy, "The Dictator," and he and his people surely gave Tarantino and the producers a heads up about this, so it came as no sudden surprise.

Kurt Russell also dropped out of "Django Unchained" although his reasons are more nebulous, with some rumors claiming he stormed off set and quit, presumably because the material was too controversial. However, this posit seems rather ridiculous as Russell obviously read the script and knew what was involved (though apparently there are dubious eye witness accounts of the actor being on set; did he have a change of heart while actually having to play one of the backwood bigoted hillbillies in the movie?)

Some operating from a distant level have shown concern. "Two major actors dropped out!!!" they exclaim. Could something be wrong with the production? Worry and concern is clearly creeping into the movie blogosphere.

But here's a reason why you shouldn't fret (and you may have got a sense of this if you read our casting suggestions piece based on the script way back when). While fanboys never want to admit that Tarantino is anything less than perfect at all times, these two incidents may be the best two things to happen to "Django Unchained" since it was announced. Clocking in at almost 270 pages (approx 2hrs 45 min), the screenplay -- unlike the similarly long "Inglourious Basterds," which rightfully did earn itself a Best Original Screenplay nomination -- Tarantino's slave picture (which is essentially just another revenge picture) is undisciplined, unwieldy and epically long.

There are lots of tangents and detours, and fat does need to be trimmed from this script. Moreover, both Russell and Cohen's parts were small, and at this juncture there likely won't be recasting so don't get your hopes up for the return of Kevin Costner (who was originally pegged to play Russell's character). While Cohen was likely being a little modest when he called his role a "cameo" it was a rather brief sub-plot, so if it's been excised entirely as some have speculated, this isn't a bad thing. Additionally, rumors that allege Walton Goggins' character has absorbed the parts of Kurt Russell's character makes total sense: "Django Unchained" is littered with A, B and C sub-villains (almost all of them white, cowboy/slave owner/hillbilly types from the south) that tend to blur together. Ditching one of them can't hurt at all. In fact, it only helps. So two actors drop out and this potentially super-promising film gets shorter and more focused? Great, this is exactly what it needs. Don't be concerned or worried. In fact, be happy, as this is exactly what the doctor ordered. "Django Unchained," the already wisely tightened version, hits theaters on Christmas Day later this year.

This article is related to: Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino, Kurt Russell, Sacha Baron Cohen


The Playlist

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


E-Mail Updates