Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire) is in talks to join Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained and Ric Roman Waugh‘s Snitch. Williams was championed by the online community to play the eponymous slave-turned-bounty-hunter in Django Unchained, but the part ended up going to Jamie Foxx after Will Smith passed on the role. However, Deadline reports that Williams is in talks to play a supporting role, most likely the muscle for plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Williams’ reps are trying work out a deal with HBO so Williams can balance Django with his shooting schedule for the third season Boardwalk Empire.
Django Unchained also stars Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, M.C. Gainey, Dennis Christopher, Gerald McRaney, Laura Cayouette, Don Johnson, Tom Savini, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film opens on December 25, 2012. Hit the jump for details on Williams’ role in Snitch. [Update: Deadline is now reporting that Williams’ reps couldn’t get him out of his Boardwalk Empire schedule, so Django Unchained is scrapping the role entirely. There’s your sad movie news of the day.]
According to Deadline, Snitch has Williams playing a narcotics kingpin with a short temper who becomes involved with a man (Dwayne Johnson) who is turning DEA snitch to get his son a reduced prison stretch. Susan Sarandon will be play “an ambitious U.S. attorney who believes that a drug bust can help her political career.” Filming is set to begin next month.
Williams has been a standout on The Wire and Boardwalk Empire and I’m glad to see him making the move to feature films. While he’s still working in a supporting capacity, he’s a scene stealer and I look forward to seeing him on the big screen.