Thanks to a tweet from podcast interviewer extraordinaire Jeff Goldsmith, rumours have been flying for more than a week about the possibility of Leonardo DiCaprio being Quentin Tarantino’s top choice to play the villainous Calvin Candie in spaghetti Western/revenge pic Django Unchained. Now, according to Deadline, they’re looking to make it real, with DiCaprio entering early talks to snatch the part.
While it’s still early days on the deal front, QT has been after DiCaprio for a while now, having looked to get him on board for Inglourious Basterds. He’s apparently even more eager to have him pay the charismatic yet utterly evil Candie, who runs the Candyland club in Mississippi, and holds human life in scant regard.
But while DiCaprio sitting down for negotiations on the bad guy role is good news for the writer/director, Tarantino still has the tricky issue of casting the hero Django – a freed slave who becomes a bounty hunter and goes up against Candie in order to track down his wife. While Will Smith has long been assumed as a shoe-in for the lead, especially since his regular studio parnters Sony signed on to distribute the film outside the US, Deadline’s report mentions that he’s dragging his heels on the decision. And there are even whispers of a back-up list, including Idris Elba (yes, please), Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker. Yes, Rush Hour’s Chris Tucker. Who, incidentally, appeared in Jackie Brown.
Fingers crossed QT gets his dream cast, especially since the idea of Smith going up against DiCaprio (and Sam Jackson as Candie’s valet) after being trained by Christoph Waltz’s bounty hunting legend is one that has us doing the dance of joy.