Will Smith Frontrunner for Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED; Christoph Waltz Confirmed to Star

     May 6, 2011

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Will Smith has been informally offered the lead role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Southern”/Spaghetti Western, Django Unchained.  The project came out of nowhere last week and we’ve slowly been getting more details about the film during the past couple of days.  We know that Tarantino is aiming to start production in late summer or fall and we also have this plot synopsis:

“Django is a freed slave, who, under the tutelage of a German bounty hunter becomes a bad-ass bounty hunter himself, and after assisting Waltz in taking down some bad guys for profit, is helped by Waltz in tracking down his slave wife and liberating her from an evil plantation owner.”

The film is moving at a fast pace and we now have some info regarding who Tarantino is hoping to cast and which roles they play.  Here’s a hint:  Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson.  Hit the jump for more.

quentin_tarantinoVariety reports that Tarantino wrote Django Unchained with Will Smith in mind and that the actor has now been “informally offered” the lead role along with the news that Smith would be willing to give up his usual $20 million salary for “the chance to tackle different, more controversial material.”  If Smith is looking for something edgier to do then I think he has definitely found the right project.

In other Django Unchained casting news, Christoph Waltz has been confirmed to star in the film as the German bounty hunter who trains Django.  The role was supposedly written with Leonardo DiCaprio in mind, but the actor chose to pass on the film, which made Tarantino adjust the role for Waltz.  Tarantino also approached Brad Pitt with hopes of the actor playing “one of the numerous juicy supporting roles”, but Pitt has decided to pass on the project too.

It was pretty much a given, but Tarantino is also hoping to cast Samuel L. Jackson in the role of Stephen, who is the evil plantation owner’s main servant.  I’m incredibly excited about Django Unchained and the casting of Will Smith makes me even more thrilled.  I’ve long been a fan of Smith, but I have always wanted to see him breakout of his comfort zone more.  This seems like the perfect opportunity for that and I’m also very interested to see who else will be joining the cast in the upcoming weeks.

What are your thoughts?  Should Smith do it?

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