I heard some idle chatter a week back about the casting for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Sergio Leone-style spaghetti western. One was a cryptic tweet that Idris Elba (“The Wire,” Takers) had sent out regarding an audition that may or may not have been for Django. Another was with regards to DiCaprio possibly getting a headlining role and getting to work Quentin Tarantino, who he’s been wanting to work with for years now.
Well, it looks like he’ll have his chance. Per Deadline, talks are close to getting underway for DiCaprio to play the role of the villainous ranch owner Calvin Candle. Candle is described as being a “charming but ruthless proprietor of Candyland, a despicable club and plantation in Mississippi where female slaves are exploited as sex objects and males are pitted against each other in ‘mandingo’ style death matches.”
Freed slave Django must cross him if he’s to reclaim his wife.
Several weeks ago in a Monday Morning Critic column, Scott Sawitz wrote a spoilers free take on the script Django Unchained, giving his general opinion of the story and the verbiage contained within. He went as far as to say that it is “perhaps the coarsest script Tarantino has written since Reservoir Dogs.” While he also talks about potential casting for the role of Django, since producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein would want someone with major box office appeal to help sell the film rights to hesitant foreign investors regarding its subject matter, even without a Will Smith as the titular character, you could do far worse than having Leonardo DiCaprio as the heavy.
All you have to do is look at DiCaprio’s resume and see that he’s gone from being “The King of the World” to tangling with Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York to getting his hand broken while undercover in The Departed. So it’s about time we see him exude both charm and ruthlessness.
If and when the deal happens DiCaprio will join Christoph Waltz (aka Hans Landa from Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds), who will play a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter who trains Django in the art of the killing. Samuel L. Jackson who has been a Tarantino regular (for the most part) since Pulp Fiction is slated to play one of Candie’s right-hand men as Stephen, the valet who keeps the slaves in line at Candyland.
As for Django, at this point Will Smith is a long shot. And for some reason, Deadline is hearing names like Chris Tucker and Jamie Foxx being mentioned for the role. While Tucker and Tarantino may have a history – Tucker had a bit role in Jackie Brown – I’m still holding out hope that the role goes to Anthony Mackie.
Tags: Django Unchained, leonardo dicaprio, Quentin Tarantino, Will Smith