Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen Drop Out of Django Unchained

I think it goes without saying that Quentin Tarantino’s next film Django Unchained is pretty highly anticipated around these parts, and we’ve been closely following the casting since day one when it was first rumoured that Will Smith might star. The lead role ended up going to Jamie Foxx, which was an equally surprising choice, and Tarantino continued to bring interesting actors on board for some of the supporting characters as well. This week, sadly, it appears that some of those supporting players have been forced to drop out of the film — among them, Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen. What effect will these last minute departures have on the final product? Probably not much, but still, it’s hard not to be a little disappointed.

Last month it was already revealed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would not be able to appear in the film. He told MTV that he had chosen to make his directorial debut instead of taking on a small role in Django Unchained. Then just a couple of days ago, Sacha Baron Cohen appeared on The Howard Stern Show and explained that he also could not find a way to fit the movie into his schedule due to The Dictator press tour.

Yesterday, Variety’s Jeff Sneider broke the news via Twitter that Kurt Russell has walked away from Django Unchained as well with “no reason given or replacement named.” A rumour has been circulating that Russell was not happy with the movie and felt that it was “not western enough”… whatever that means. Russell had initially been cast to replace Kevin Costner as Ace Woody, plantation owner Calvin Candie’s right hand man, but word on the street is that Woody will now simply be cut from the film altogether.

Obviously it’s unfortunate that we won’t get to see Kurt Russell on screen in another Tarantino flick, but the bigger question is what any of this might mean for the film. These are all fairly small parts that probably will not be missed, but you have to wonder why all of these people are dropping out at the last minute like this. Could it be that Django Unchained is simply too edgy for some of these actors? If that were the case, it could actually be a very promising sign for the film. What do you think, are you disappointed that Kurt Russell, Sacha Baron Cohen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are out of the movie?

Around the Web:

  • MeBinch

    Kurt Russel is too darn old and not been in enough movies lately. I’m disappointed that his career has basically simmered down.

  • Henrik

    Some pretty weird news… Still excited for the film though, I mean come on.

  • James

    Gawd that’s really disappointing

  • Dan Day

    Disappointing, but apparently Walton Goggins’ role has been merged with Russell’s, and fans of THE SHIELD and JUSTIFIED know he is more than capable. In fact, I think this is good news!

  • Wintle

    “not western enough”

    Hope that’s not true…

  • Nuno

    James: Walton Goggins is indeed amazing but it’s still disappointing that Russel is out.

  • Markus Krenn

    David Hasselhoff for the Kevin Kostner/ Kurt Russel role.
    And i’m not joking.

  • Derek McFarland

    Mel Gibson should take Russel’s place…He can’t sink any lower, so why not embrace his anal retentiveness and get paid for it. Lol

  • patrik

    That’s a shame but I’m sure he’ll replace them with some awesome people.. Michael Parks would be nice.

  • Kasper

    All this bad news has at least put the movie down a notch or two on my most-anticipated list.

  • Joffry

    Walter Goggins is in. Good move I think…IMO Russell tends to overact.

  • Mikey T

    I keep waiting for someone to give Goggins his own show. He’s been great as a second fiddle but it would be nice to see what he can do as a lead.

  • mushroomyakuza

    Part of me wants them to kill off Boyd on Justified so Walt Goggins can move on to new things again. He’s great in the role but the character storyline is getting stale. However, I’d prefer to see Michael Parks take on this role now that Russell is out.