Django Unchained

 

 

Among those considered for the title role of Django, Michael K. Williams and Will Smith were mentioned as possibilities, but in the end Jamie Foxx was cast in the role. Smith later said he turned down the role because it "wasn't the lead". Tyrese Gibson sent in an audition tape as the character. Franco Nero, the original Django from the 1966 Italian film, was rumored for the role of Calvin Candie, but instead was given a cameo appearance as a minor character. Nero suggested that he play a mysterious horseman who haunts Django in visions, and is revealed in an ending flashback to be Django's father; Tarantino opted not to use the idea. Kevin Costner was in negotiations to join as Ace Woody, a slave trainer, mandingo expert and Candie's right-hand man, but Costner dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Kurt Russell was cast instead but also later left the role. When Kurt Russell dropped out, the role of Ace Woody was not recast; instead the character was merged with Walton Goggins' character, Billy Crash.

Jonah Hill was offered the role of Scotty Harmony, a gambler who loses Broomhilda to Candie in a poker game, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with The Watch. Sacha Baron Cohen was also offered the role, but declined in order to appear in Les Misérables. Neither Scotty nor the poker game appear in the final cut of the film. On June 15, 2012, it was announced that Hill had become available to join the cast, but in a different role. On April 4, 2012, Joseph Gordon-Levitt announced that he would be unable to appear in the film because of a prior commitment to make his directorial debut on Don Jon. Gordon-Levitt explained, "I would have loved, loved to have done it. He's one of my very favorite filmmakers."