Will Smith Out, Jamie Foxx In for Django Unchained

Update: This news is now confirmed by Deadline. Jamie Foxx got the job.

A couple of weeks ago Aaron reported that Will Smith was the frontrunner for the lead role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Django Unchained. He would play Django, a freed slave who seeks revenge on the plantation owner that is still holding his wife captive. At the time, reactions seemed mixed on whether or not Smith would make a decent lead for a Tarantino flick. Clearly his involvement would make the film instantly bankable, but his star power might also provide an unwelcome distraction as well. Now this week, for better or worse, it sounds like Smith is no longer in the running, and according to reports, Oscar winner Jamie Foxx may very well have landed the role instead. But if this turns out to be the case, would it be an improvement or a serious step down?

The scoop comes courtesy of former Creative Screenwriting Magazine editor Jeff Goldsmith, who sent out the following update via Twitter:

“Will Smith is out! Inside sources tell me that Tarantino has chosen Oscar winner @iamjamiefoxx to play Django!”

While you may wonder how Goldsmith could possibly have access to sources inside Tarantino’s camp, he did correctly predict the involvement of both Will Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio from these same sources just a few weeks ago. Adding further credibility to this rumour, Idris Elba, who was also in the running for the lead role, has just signed on to star in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim instead. It’s a bit unfortunate, considering that I would have liked to see Elba in the role, but I suppose he may not have been a big enough name to carry the film.

Given the choice I would much rather see Will Smith in this movie over Jamie Foxx, but I suppose Foxx does have a little more versatility in his acting. I will certainly take him over Chris Tucker any day, although you never really know what to expect when it comes to casting in a Quentin Tarantino movie. What do you think, are you happy with the choice of Jamie Foxx to play Django? Does it make you more or less excited to see Tarantino’s next film?

  • Colin

    I trust Tarantino, but from a persona standpoint, Jamie Foxx is a 180 from Will Smith.

  • I was really hoping for Chris Tucker. Seriously.

  • Darksiders

    Foxx is a much better choice than Smith.

  • won’t happen. and any serious QT fan should know. QT likes to separate people who work on his films and ones that do Oliver Stone films (remeber that feud) Foxx was in Any Given Sunday SO HE IS OUT!!!!

  • rob

    would have loved to see will smith in this :/ shame.

    I’d like to see tarantino use a little or unknown actor, i think the brand of tarantino carries itself now, i dont think people were drawn to kill bill or inglorious basterds because of the leads

  • Jalen

    I was excited to see Will Smith in a Tarantino film. Now, I’m still excited to see it but my excitement went down a notch.

  • Matt

    For some reason I could see Will Smith in a QT film, but I can’t picture Jamie Foxx in a lead role of a QT film.

  • Dave

    Idris Elba really needs a good lead role. Jamie Foxx doesn’t.

  • Richard

    i believe jamie foxx would be better then will smith. i have no problem with the big willie style but jamie foxx has that ounce more subtlety which is required for a lot of tarantino`s dialogue. i Just hope that like inglorious basterds and jackie brown that the characters are nicely rounded and have their own voices, i dont want them all to sound like tarentino again!!

  • Fatbologna

    Fuck…I loathe Jamie Foxx. It’ll still be a guaranteed great flick as the subject matter is smack dab in my wheelhouse but I hope someone else ends up being the lead. Idris Elba’s a great choice. I wouldn’t mind seeing a slightly older character actor in there either.

  • Chris


  • Richard

    fatbologna have you seen collateral? Jamie Foxx isnt bad in that……..

  • Colin

    Variety confirms it. Foxx is the man.

  • Fatbologna

    I really like Collateral despite Jamie Foxx’s presence. Have you seen The Soloist? Brutal. Have you seen how much he milked his “Ray” impersonation? Barf. I can 99% guarantee that I’m going to love whatever this movie ends up being but I’m still disappointed with this casting.

  • berserker01

    Jamie Foxx or Will Smith? Are these the only 2 black actors in Hollywood?

  • Napalm

    Oh man I was so hoping for Will Smith to take the role… I could just picture him fitting in in a Tarantino film. Not too sure about Jamie Foxx though… I’m not a fan of the guy. But I’ll give Tarantino the benefit of the doubt.

  • Niklas

    Not a Jamie Foxx fan but if anyone can make me like him it would be Tarantino.

    Elba would have been my #1 choice

  • Captain N

    I had a feeling Will Smith wouldn’t end up doing this role. His image is far too controlled to allow himself to work a director such as Tarantino. Will Smith is a star and I’m sure he and his people are sure to maintain that. I will wish we would have seen this film with Smith, but I enjoy Foxx too. I’ve been wanting to read this script, I heard it’s quite good.

  • Chris Clemente

    Michael Williams from ‘The Wire’ all the way!!

  • Ryan Marlow

    If Tarantino said he wanted to make a fucking Care Bears movie I’d still have faith. Jamie Foxx is more capable than Will Smith and he looks more like a negro already.

  • Zeke

    I want Tarantino to do EXACTLY what he wants for his movie whether it be Smith, Foxx, or freakin Cosby, it doesn’t matter. If he says it will be good for his movie, then it will be good.