Jeff Golsmith, host of the essential Q&A podcast, was first out of the traps with the Will Smith–Quentin Tarantino–Django Unchained story, with confirmation coming soon afterwards, from many directions. It seems pretty compelling, if not rather likely to be true, when Goldmsith comes back with more on the same project.
Earlier today, he tweeted:
Casting Rumor: Leonardo DiCaprio WILL play villian Calvin Candie in Tarantino’s Django Unchained! QT wanted him for I.B. & now has him!
Previously, buzz was that Tarantino had rewritten the chief role of Dr. King Schultz for Christoph Waltz after Leonardo DiCaprio had turned it down. This follows claims that DiCaprio was the first choice for Inglorious Basterds‘ Jew Hunter.
Django Unchained is being billed as a Southern, as opposed to a Western, and it contains many of the same tropes as the Spaghetti fare of Leone, Solima or Corbucci, though laced with Mandingo or Drum-style blaxploitation elements. The role of Calvin Candie, which could be DiCaprio’s, is that of a slave trader and proprietor of The Cleopatra Club, a rather unsavory place. The script describes it like this:
Interracial joint… as long as by interracial you mean white men and black women.
I think you get the idea.