will smith

Here’s a fascinating case of an actor wildly mis-reading a script: in 2011, news broke that Quentin Tarantino wanted Will Smith to star as the titular character in his pre-Civil War era spaghetti western, Django Unchained.  Which made sense, in a way—Tarantino has a knack for oddball casting, and Will Smith starring in an actual good film is as odd as it gets these days (plus, as Cinema Blend notes, his internal box office draw probably wouldn’t hurt).  But Smith turned it down, and Jamie Foxx eventually stepped into the role.  So, what happened?

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly in which Smith is selling his new flick, After Earth, the former Fresh Prince of Bel Air took a moment to explain why he couldn’t star in Django Unchained.  Was it the violence?  The propensity of Tarantino’s characters to ceaselessly hurl the racial epithets of the era?  That awful scene in which Tarantino hacks his way through an Australian accent?

Nope.  Turns out the starring (and title!) role in a new film by one of America’s best living directors simply wasn’t big enough, as Smith states that “Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!… No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’”

The “other character” would be Christoph Waltz’s Oscar winning turn as the bounty hunter King Schultz.  And while Schultz is indeed a flashy and sizeable role, it’s still a supporting role—while Django begins the film somewhat meek, quiet, and unsure of himself, the film charts the evolution of his character from a mistreated slave to an epic, near super-heroic hero (spoilers ahead) in which he murders literally like 25 villainous characters.  And blows up a giant slave-plantation mansion.  And avenges the death of his friend.  And gets the girl.  And rides off into the night as a hero.  And gets his own theme song.  And his name is the title of the film.

Smith did check his ego just long enough to note that the film was “brilliant” though.

What do you think of the Django news?

Source: Cinema Blend