Huge news about the Django Unchained cast: Will Smith is being courted for the lead role of Django. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tarantino told Hollywood insiders that he wants Smith in his film, and that the script has been passed along to Smith’s team. No official offers have been made. The part being offered to Smith is that of a freed slave who teams up with a German bounty hunter (rumored to be Christoph Waltz) to fight a villainous plantation owner.
The article also included an insightful paragraph about Will Smith:
Smith and his reps have received the screenplay, which could be a hot potato due to the themes of racism and the liberal use of the N-word. It’s unclear whether Smith has read the script yet. The actor manages his image very carefully, but the part is heroic and could be iconic. And let’s not forget that Denzel Washington won his two Oscars playing characters who used the N-word.
I admit that I was a bit skeptical when I first heard Will Smith’s name being tossed around. He’s a great and entertaining actor, but I associate him more with family-friendly, PG-13 blockbusters, and not your average dark Tarantino drama with foul language, sex, and bloody violence.
Also included in the article was a one-sentence blurb that Samuel L. Jackson might receive a “key part” in Django Unchained. How exciting! I’ve missed Samuel L. Jackson and all of his glory in the last few Tarantino films.