Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tarantino might be calling in some favors on Django Unchained

Several minutes of Quentin Tarantino's 8th directorial effort, Django Unchained, were shown at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  As if we all weren’t already excited enough for Quentin's first film since Inglorious Basterds, many of the press who got to see the footage from the movie have been saying that it's Tarantino at his finest.

That’s all well and good, but it seems like ol' QT might have a few tricks up his sleeves as well.  In a conversation with Deadline following the screening of the footage, Harvey Weinstein said that Django Unchained will be in production for another month and "may be adding a couple of 'surprise' co-stars."  Let the speculation begin!

The film has acquired quite the cast already, but recently saw Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russell drop out, on the heels of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kevin Costner.  There doesn’t seem to be any ill-will between these stars and Tarantino, it just seems to simply be due to busy schedules and bad timing.  It’s unclear if their roles are going to be cut, recast or altered in any way, but it certainly does leave a opening for more actors to come on board.

Cohen confirmed his departure to Howard Stern, saying that he was unable to make the film work due to commitments to The Dictator's press schedule.  Variety scooped Russell’s exit, and one rumor floating around is that he was unhappy because the movie wasn’t western enough.  Kurt had been a replacement for Kevin Costner in the flick, who stepped aside to make the TV movie The Hatfields & The McCoys for the History Channel with his old pal Kevin Reynolds (they worked together on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld).
Joseph Gordon-Levitt also had to leave because of his busy schedule.  "I’ve been in touch with Quentin about it, and it was so cool to trust me to do this little part in his movie," he told MTV News.  "I would have loved, loved to have done it.  He’s one of my very favorite filmmakers, and he was really supportive of me directing and that meant the world to me."
It would seem like a good time for Quentin to dial up some of his friends.  Personally I'd love to see some more Tarantino regulars come on board.  Django already has Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackon, but what about Michael Madsen, Bruce Willis or Uma Thurman.  I'm sure even Brad Pitt would be down for a quick cameo if the timing could work.

It is worth noting that the four actors that have dropped out seem to have been playing small roles in the movie.  Django Unchained still has plenty of star power to spare, even without the "surprise co-stars" it features an all-star line-up that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, RZA, Walton Goggins and Don Johnson, and they have been busy filming since the beginning of the year.

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained will hit theaters on Christmas Day, December 25, 2012.

UPDATE (June 10, 2012): The first trailer has hit the internet, and it looks really cool!

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