UPDATE: Variety reports that Sony Pictures is negotiating to co-finance and take foreign distribution rights to Django Unchained. The news shouldn't surprise those familiar with Will Smith, who's the leading candidate the star in the pic. The actor is Sony's star player and bends over backwards to be involved in anything he does. So if he wants to travel to Tarantino land, the studio will follow with its wallet out ready to finance. It would be Tarantino's first film at Columbia Pictures/Sony ever. The Weinstein Company will handle domestic distribution.
EARLIER: Despite telling Vulture that he just “finished it on Tuesday”(referring to the completion of the screenplay for his new film), several names have already emerged as possible stars for the lead role in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. Apparently Will Smith has become the front runner to star as a freed slave on the manhunt for the plantation owner that has his wife. The character will be joined by a German bounty hunter who most will be played by Inglorious Basterds stand out Christoph Waltz. Another named being tossed around for lead role is Samuel L. Jackson, a Tarantino veteran.
Look, I’ll be the first to admit that Tarantino can sometimes get a little too wrapped up in his ego for his own good. But the man makes some damn good films. And Will Smith? That motherfucker has charm oozing out of his (sculpted) buttocks. Combining the two? Aww yeah. And Tarantino and Waltz have already proven to be a powerful team. Plus Tarantino is at his best when he’s paying homage to his favorite genres and Western's seem to be the most obvious choice for him tackle next. This just sounds too good to be true, so I’m going to get cynical and say it will never happen. Oh but I want it to so badly! Hope reigns supreme once again.
However, there's another reason to be cynical about this casting rumor. Tarantino’s scripts have never shied away from racism or the N-word. Will Smith has famously cultivated a warm, non-threatening image and appearing in a Tarantino flick is the antithesis of everything he's done in the film industry. But as the source so eloquently put it (and is the very best justification of using the N-word I’ve ever seen) “...let’s not forget that Denzel Washington won his two Oscars playing characters who used the N-word.” Well said, Hollywood Reporter. Well said indeed.
Source: Hollywood Reporter