Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained Loses Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen
05.10.12 by BJSprecher
The body count is always high in Quentin Tarantino movies, but it's usually the characters who drop like flies and not the actors (idiomatically speaking) attached to play those characters. Tarantino's latest, Django Unchained, a revenge-fueled tale set in the South two years before the Civil War, lost both veteran actor Kevin Costner and hot up-and-comer Joseph Gordon-Levitt due to scheduling conflicts — some entertainment sites list Jonah Hill as a third dropout, but he never accepted a role — and now two more actors have left the movie.
According to a tweet by Jeff Sneider of Variety, Kurt Russell, who starred in Tarantino's half of Grindhouse, Death Proof, and who only accepted the role of sadistic slave trainer Ace Woody in Django Unchained after Costner dropped out, has also exited the movie without explanation. This is a significant loss for the movie considering the importance of the character as the major "heavy." A less significant, but no less disappointing, loss to the cast is Sacha Baron Cohen, who recently revealed on the The Howard Stern Show that the press tour for his new movie, The Dictator, has forced him to relinquish his cameo role in the movie. It's unclear how these losses will affect the production schedule.
Here's the synopsis of Django Unchained:
Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django Unchained stars Academy Award–winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award–winner Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles — dead or alive.
Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.
Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award–nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of "Candyland," an infamous plantation where slaves are groomed by trainer Ace Woody to battle each other for sport. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award–nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candie's trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival...
The Django Unchained cast also includes Don Johnson, Tom Wopat, James Remar, James Russo, Walton Goggins, Laura Cayouette, Todd Allen, Misty Upham and the RZA.