By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 9, 2011 at 9:12AM
Sony has landed international rights to Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, for which the writer-director is eyeing Will Smith. The Weinsteins have domestic rights. Smith is affiliated with Sony, which explains why Sony landed the prize despite Universal's success with Inglourious Basterds. With Smith, Django would have huge mainstream appeal.
Here's more from our previous stories on Django Unchained: Christoph Waltz plays a German bounty hunter in the antebellum south who joins up with former slave Django to save his wife from an evil plantation owner. Samuel Jackson is reportedly on tap to play the villain's chief house slave. No start date or locations have been finalized. Original Django star Franco Nero has said that he is attached, along with Keith Carradine and Treat Williams (unconfirmed).
In 2010, Tarantino described what he wanted to do:
“I’d like to do a Western. But rather than set it in Texas, have it in slavery times. With that subject that everybody is afraid to deal with. Let’s shine that light on ourselves. You could do a ponderous history lesson of slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. Or, you could make a movie that would be exciting. Do it as an adventure. A spaghetti Western that takes place during that time. And I would call it ‘A Southern.’.. I want to do movies that deal with America’s horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they’re genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it’s ashamed of it, and other countries don’t really deal with because they don’t feel they have the right to"…