Leonardo DiCaprio Is Closer to Quentin Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED Than Will Smith; Idris Elba, Chris Tucker, Jamie Foxx Rumored for Django

     June 7, 2011


No actor is officially confirmed for Django Unchained, the latest from Quentin Tarantino, but the cast is starting to take shape. According to Deadline, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson are expected to sign on.  Leonardo DiCaprio is about to enter negotiations to play the villain, . That doesn’t give us the titular character, though.  Will Smith was the first major contender for the role of Django, “a slave who is liberated and taught the tricks of the trade by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter (Waltz).”  Negotiations are stuck in first gear, and we’re probably kidding ourselves to expect the super image-conscious Smith to sign on for such a gleefully controversial role.

Deadline hears Smith likely won’t sign on; possible replacements include Idris Elba, Chris Tucker, and Jamie Foxx.  That’s an eclectic list, somewhere between intriguing and Name Three Black Actors Who Aren’t Will Smith That Headlined Box Office Hits in the Past Decade.  More after the jump:

Idris Elba Thor_PremiereThe Elba rumor struck me as silly when it first surfaced.  I mean, I’d cast him in a heartbeat.  But the way we collectively insisted on connecting the dots… I suppose the guesswork was spot on, though — at least that he’s talking to the filmmakers.

Jackie Brown is, notably, the last film Tucker acted in that doesn’t belong to the Rush Hour franchise.  He would certainly do something interesting with the role, but I am frightened by the possibilities.

Foxx is a fine choice.  But of the candidates rumored so far, we all want Elba, right?

In terms of white people, I really want to see DiCaprio take this on.  DiCaprio was an early candidate for Hans Landa for Inglourious Basterds before the role went to Waltz.  Calvin Candie, the part DiCaprio has his eye on, is said to be Landa’s equal:

[Candie is] a charming but ruthless proprietor of Candyland, a despicable club in Mississippi where female slaves are exploited as sex objects and males are pitted against each other in “mandingo” style death matches. Candie is a slave’s worst nightmare and the freed slave Django must cross him in order to reclaim his wife.

For how much anger drives his performance, how has DiCaprio yet to play a straight-up villain?

I wrote more than I meant to for this article, and close feeling like I ought to write more.  This project is sneakily fascinating, even prior to any official news.  Click here for all our Django coverage.

  • Strong Enough

    I think Quentin is a smart person and won’t have his film he wrote himself from scratch main character be played by chris tucker or jamie foxx. He knows what he wants. and if will smith doesnt do it (which is probably whats going to happen) Idris will surly get the role. i mean the only other black actor that would be good enough for this role would be Anthony mackie but i think Idris paid his dues and deserves a big motion pic starring himself

    • Sam

      yeah man, i wouldn’t be happy at all if tucker or foxx was cast. Great call with Mackie, great actor, and his star is gaining ever since hurt locker

  • pegoulli

    He could always go with Michael K Williams
    That would be interesting

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  • junierizzle

    I’ve never really liked Jamie Foxx. He’s okay but I’ve never seen him as a great actor even though he won an Oscar. Ironically I think Dicaprio was robbed that same year for best actor.

    Dicaprio must do this!

    I was on board with Will Smith but if these are the choices then of course I’m going with Elba all the way.

  • BravisTrickle

    What about Sam Jackson

  • dsagsfg

    good—–w-w-w-j o r d a n s f o r k i n g-c-o-m

  • Rukia

    I like Idris Elba way more than the other two. And I think he could do a good job.

    What about Chiwetel Ejiofor? I thought he did an excellent job on Serenity. I could see him doing well here.

  • Enigmatic

    I think Elba, Foxx, and even Ejiofor would be great choices but I just can’t see Tucker in this role.

  • jackyboy

    DAMN YOU DICAPRIO! IF THIS CONFLICTS WITH THE ‘GATSBY’ SCHEDULE, YOU BETTER DROP ‘GATSBY’(or better yet, Quentin, wait for Dicaprio to finish Gatsby. don’t rush this for 2012 Cannes)…


  • Hugo

    Yes Damn! Please anyone but fricking Will smith!

    Idris Elba is a bit too big , a gunslinger should be more the slick fast type.

  • Jug

    As much as I hate to say it (because he’s the defacto black actor right now), after reading it-strictly type-wise- Django is more Anthony Mackie than Idris, Will, Jamie or any of the “which black actor do we have today” that were named. Maybe even Dorrian Missick. Star wattage is something else entirely tho.

    But it really does illustrate the BS that is Hollywood casting. You “struggle” to find black actors to cast in movies because you don’t push them in any & everything until we have no choice but to see them like say…umm Alex Pettyfer, Sam Worthington, Shia LeBouf. And then folks turn around and say “There aren’t any good black actors around”. I mean really, Rhianna, DMX, 50 effin’ Cent?!?

    …whatever man…..

  • Gus

    Of the three actors mentioned, I would choose Idris Elba hands down. I think Michael Jai White could be a good fit. I also wouldnt mind seeing Isaiah Mustafa get a shot at the role either.

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  • MDFaraone

    I actually think Tucker would be perfect for the role, I think the guy is very underrated and I think he could convincingly pull this off . I think he can be serious with just enough of Tarantino’s sarcastic humor to mix it up a bit. He also has a gunslingers build.
    I say HELL NO to Will Smith or Jamie Foxx, both are waaay overused.

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