Leonardo DiCaprio to Join Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained
Posted 06.08.11 by Ryan
There's been plenty of casting rumors surrounding writer-director Quentin Tarantino's upcoming "Southern" movie Django Unchained, which blends elements of the Western genre and exploitation movies. Tarntino's Inglourious Basterds actor Christoph Waltz was the first actor rumored for the project, something both the director and actor publicly stated wasn't a done deal.
In early May, Will Smith was rumored for the lead role, though there was some question as to whether the actor would actually sign on to the movie. The latest actor associated with the movie is Leonardo DiCaprio.
Deadline reports that DiCaprio is in talks to star as villainous ranch owner Calvin Candie, who owns a a club called Candyland that exploits female slaves. The freed slave Django must fight Candie in order to get his wife back. According to the report, discussions with DiCaprio are in an early phase, but DiCaprio is more likely to sign on to Django Unchained than Smith.
In the script that Tarantino turned in to The Weinstein Company, Django is trained by a "German dentist-turned-bounty hunter", the role that Waltz will supposedly play. Again, Waltz is not confirmed, but the Deadline report says that "it was impossible to read Django Unchained and not see Waltz in the role of Dr. Schultze." Waltz's casting remains to be seen, but Tarantino's penchant for working with the same actors he's used before seems to imply that it is a strong possibility. According to a May report from Variety, Tarantino wrote the part of Dr. Schultze for DiCaprio, but re-wrote it for Waltz once Dicaprio passed on it. The role of Candie is compared to Waltz's Academy Award-winning role of Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds, which may be more attractive for DiCaprio.
With Smith taking so long to sign on, the report claims that other actors could replace him as the title character. The actors mentioned include Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker. Tucker is a surprising choice, but has worked with Tarantino before in 1997's Jackie Brown. Samuel L. Jackson is also still being mentioned for the role of Stephen, the valet for Candie who keeps the slaves in line at his residence.
There's still no word on when Tarantino will start production on Django Unchained. Last month, Tarantino said he had "no idea" when he would start.