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

     May 31, 2011


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.


Around The Web
  • Shoothamaguchi

    Elba would be amazing in the Django role.

  • Mike F.

    I want Idris Elba, I think he’s very underrated and Tarantino would make him freaking brilliant. And, of course, if Leo gets on board I think this movie will be pretty incredible. I’ve read most of the script and I can picture both men in the film. Hopefully Smith doesn’t do it, I dont feel he’s the right guy for some reason.

  • Marc

    Idris Elba’s role as Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire should have catapulted his career, but it looks like its finally starting to show some legs. I think this role would make him a bonified star, as he should be. I’m rootin’ for you Stringer.

    It’s all in the game…..

  • junierizzle

    Elba would be good. Dicaprio would be great! F*cking Gatsby!!!!

  • danielplainview

    GOD DAMN MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR DICAPRIO! QT always ALWAYS wanted him! he loves Scorsese’s actors

    maybe he didn’t want to be the good guy that helped Django, and so he turned it down because he wanted to play the bad ass villain(which would be better instead of Sam Jackson. QT and Jackson together isn’t as fresh as a DiCaprio and QT team-up. plus add Christoph Waltz for the cast. MAN oh MAN!

    i’m trying not to get to excited for this DiCaprio casting(too good to be true type of thing)

    i’m not familiar to Elba’s work, but i am one of those who prefers Smith(because he really needs some career re-adjustment)

  • LEM

    Elba should get this and would much rather see him than Will Smith.

  • titan3

    Really can’t see Will Smith in this role… you would definitely need a fresh face for it and Idris Elba could be it! Was great in the Wire as mentioned above! Plus I think he has the right physical presence for the role; Smith wouldn’t do it for me there either.

    DiCaprio as the evil plantation owner, Samuel L. Jackson as the house slave, and Chris Waltz as the bounty hunter… what a lineup if all goes well

  • Collin V.

    DiCaprio as the villain? Who the hell is Idris Elba? Will this come to theaters soon? I WANNA SEE THIS!!

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  • tazmaniak

    Christoph Waltz as a protagonist and Leonardo DiCaprio as the antagonist?Talk about playing against type.Should be interesting.

  • News Hit

    I am seriously disturbed by that pic of Waltz and Tarantino. Please stop!

  • Old Soldier

    Now is this movie going to actually show them rescue his wife or are they going to sit around a table for two hours and just talk about it like most Tarantino movies?

  • Lightskintwin

    Having read the script, I definitely don’t see Will Smith accepting this role. I can’t see Smith willing to take a role that plays second fiddle to Christopher Waltz’s character, especially in a slavery role which Smith might feel is beneath him. However despite Will Smith being a superstar African-American, I actually think he wouldn’t look right in the role as he looks more American than African to be playing a field negro. Idris Elba on the other hand would be perfect for the role. Plus it allows him the opportunity to shine along with Christopher Waltz and hopefully Leonard DiCaprio.

  • Keith

    DiCaprio, uggh. Am I the only one that thinks he’s really a pretty awful actor?

  • stringerbell

    why isnt denzel Washington in the mix for the role

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  • WTF

    He really hasn’t had the chance to be a leading man yet so more power to him if he gets it.

    I don’t know why but I wouldn’t expect Dicaprio to play a villan.


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