Last week there was speculation this was the case, and now Deadline has word that Leonardo DiCaprio is indeed in early talks for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Apparently DiCaprio is being courted to play a charming but ruthless proprietor of Candyland, a despicable club in Mississippi where female slaves are exploited as sex objects and males are pitted against each other in “mandingo” style death matches. Candie is a slave’s worst nightmare and the freed slave Django must cross him in order to reclaim his wife.
Will Smith was previously reported to be in talks to play Django, a slave who is liberated and taught the tricks of the trade by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), however it doesn’t look like Smith will be appearing in the film at this point. Deadline says other names such as Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker are also being looked at. Tucker hasn’t appeared in a film since Rush Hour 3 in 2007, but he previously worked with Tarantino on Jackie Brown (1997), so he must still be on the director’s mind. Getting Leonardo DiCaprio would mean the actor playing Django wouldn’t need to be a big box office draw like Smith, so getting someone like Idris Elba would be a good move.
Filming is expected to begin later this year, so these talks may conclude shortly and we should get some official casting announcements.