Sacha Baron Cohen, Kurt Russell Leave Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is set to make its debut in theaters this Christmas, but it will be doing so without Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russell.

Speaking on Howard Stern’s show yesterday, Cohen said that he had to exit his role in the film, which he says was more of a “cameo” than anything else, due to scheduling conflicts with his demanding press tour for The Dictator, which opens May 16. Cohen was to play Scotty Harmony, a wealthy man who “acquires a female slave for companionship.”

“That was going to be a cameo, but I had to drop out because of [‘The Dictator”s] press tour,” Cohen told Stern (via Hitfix)

Sources with Variety confirmed that Russell has also exited the thriller, though the reason behind his departure is anything but clear. Rumors suggested that Russell decided to leave the film because he was unhappy, but Variety’s sources indicate that the actor’s departure wasn’t quite so dramatic.

Rather than re-cast Russell’s character, which previously belonged to Kevin Costner before he dropped out, Quentin Tarantino has reportedly decided to have another character, played by Walton Goggins, absorb the role.

Do you think Django Unchained will be missing anything by not having Sacha Baron Cohen or Kurt Russell?