Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Netflix Neo-Noir 'Bloodline' Gives Viewers The Tragic Anti-Hero Television Has Been Waiting For Since Walter White Netflix Neo-Noir 'Bloodline' Gives Viewers The Tragic Anti-Hero Television Has Been Waiting For Since Walter White 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Hugh Jackman Says 'Wolverine 3' Will Be His Last Turn As The Mutant Character Hugh Jackman Says 'Wolverine 3' Will Be His Last Turn As The Mutant Character Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Quentin Tarantino's List Of His 20 Favorite Spaghetti Westerns Quentin Tarantino's List Of His 20 Favorite Spaghetti Westerns Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki 20 Survival Films That Will Take You Into The Abyss 20 Survival Films That Will Take You Into The Abyss The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes 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

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.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates