Quentin Tarantino says he has no hard feelings toward actor Will Smith, who passed on the lead role in the director’s upcoming western Django Unchained.
The role of Django in Tarantino’s upcoming film ultimately went to Jamie Foxx, but the director says he originally envisioned, and courted, actor Will Smith for the part. Shortly after Tarantino wrote the film, he approached Smith to play Django, and insisted that he had a fun weekend trying to persuade him to take the part even though the Men in Black star ultimately passed on it, reports MSN.
In an interview with Playboy Magazine, Tarantino talked about his attempt to get Smith to take the part.
“We spent quite a few hours together over a weekend when he was in New York doing Men in Black 3. We went over the script and talked it out. I had a good time — he’s a smart, cool guy.”
Tarantino says that the film’s controversial subject matter — the issue of slavery — isn’t what turned Smith off to the part:
“He didn’t walk away from it because he was scared of the material. It just wasn’t 100 percent right, and we didn’t have time to try to make it that way.
“We left with me saying, ‘Look, I’m going to see other people.’ He said, ‘Let me just see how I feel, and if you don’t find anybody, let’s talk again.’ And then I found my guy.”
Before ultimately casting Jamie Foxx for the titular role in Django Unchained, Tarantino courted Tyrese Gibson, Terrence Howard, Idris Elba, Chris Tucker, and Michael K. Williams.
Ultimately, Tarantino went with Foxx because “he was the cowboy,” adding, “Jamie understood the material. … He’s from Texas. We sat there talking, and I realized, ‘Wow, if this were the 1960s and I was casting a Django western TV show…’ and they had black guys as stars of those in the 1960s, I could see Jamie on one of those. And that’s what I was looking for, a Clint Eastwood.”
All I got from that interview was that Omar Little was almost Django. Oh well.
Are you excited to see Django Unchained? Do you think that Jamie Foxx is perfect for the role, or can you imagine Will Smith as Django?