Rumor: Leonardo DiCaprio and Idris Elba Circling Quentin Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED?

     May 31, 2011

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Tarantino fans are hungry for any information regarding his next film, Django Unchained.  However, while deals are still being done, we’re all left to wonder how the film will be cast.  We already know that Christoph Waltz will play a bounty hunter who mentors an escaped slave named Django and then teams up with him to free Django’s wife from an evil plantation owner.  Rumors are now springing forth from the Twitter about casting for Django and the plantation owner, Calvin Candie.  Yesterday, tweets from Idris Elba hinted (in the vaguest of terms) that he might be playing Django even though Will Smith was tipped as Tarantino’s top choice for the role.  Today, Creative Screenwriting magazine Senior Editor Jeff Goldsmith tweeted

“Casting Rumor: Leonardo DiCaprio WILL play villian [sic] Calvin Candie in [Quentin] Tarantino‘s “Django Unchained”! QT wanted him for [Inglourious Basterds] & now has him!”

Hit the jump for more on these rumors.

djang-unchained-script-imageRegarding the rumors, let’s start with Elba.  Here’s what he tweeted [via The Playlist] this weekend:

“Having one of the biggest meetings of my professional life today…meeting a very controversial director for a very controversial part.”

Django Unchained is supposed to be highly controversial because it reportedly pulls no punches with regards to slavery and racial politics.  Elba then followed-up by tweeting:

“I wish I could tell you more but…in due time. On the plane to the destination of my fate…..ok…. a lil dramatic….destination of my life..?”

There are a variety of controversial roles for controversial directors, and Django Unchained certainly fits the bill.  However, it may not be for the role of Django.  After all, it was implied that the reason The Weinstein Company partnered with Sony Pictures on distribution was to appeal to Smith since he’s got a strong relationship with Sony.  Personally, I would love to see Elba star in a Tarantino film, and I think there’s some desire among Tarantino’s fans to see Smith not get the part because of his insistence on re-writing scripts (even though no one re-writes Tarantino) and more importantly, his clean-cut image trying to fit into a controversial role.

Then there’s DiCaprio who was already mentioned in connection with the project.  On May 6th, Variety reported that “Tarantino is believed to have written the role of Dr. Schultz for DiCaprio, but when he passed, it was modified for Waltz.”  But it’s possible that Tarantino hasn’t given up on DiCaprio and has offered him Candie instead.  However, DiCaprio may have a scheduling conflict with Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

The Playlist points out that Goldsmith was one of the first people to report that Will Smith was up for Django and there have certainly been discussions with DiCaprio’s camp about joining the film.  Furthermore, if Smith passed and the production went for Elba, they would most likely need a movie star of DiCaprio’s caliber just as Basterds needed Pitt.

But this is all speculation.  Nothing’s been announced, discussions are happening behind closed doors, and there are plenty of roles to cast.  But we’re always super-excited for anything Tarantino does so we’ll be sure to keep you updated about Django Unchained.

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