Tarantino says Will Smith was first choice for ‘Django Unchained’ lead

He also had someone else in mind to play villian Calvin Candie

Quentin Tarantino has revealed that Will Smith was his first choice to play the lead in his latest movie Django Unchained.

The Pulp Fiction director told Playboy magazine: “We spent quite a few hours together over a weekend when he was in New York doing Men In Black III. We went over the script and talked it out.” He added: “He didn’t walk away from it because he was scared of the material. It just wasn’t 100 per cent right, and we didn’t have time to try to make it that way.”

Jamie Foxx wasn’t the only actor Tarantino considered after Will Smith turned down the role. He also had talks with Idris Elba, Chris Tucker, Terrence Howard, MK Williams and Tyrese. Tarantino said of them: “They all appreciated the material, and I was going to put them through the paces, make them go off against one another and kind of put up an obstacle course. And then I met Jamie and realized I didn’t need to do that.”

“Jamie understood the material. But mostly he was the cowboy,” said Tarantino on why he chose Jamie Foxx. “He’s from Texas; he understands… He understood what it’s like to be thought of as an ‘other’.”

Tarantino also said that he originally wrote the villain Calvin Candie for another actor other than Leonardo DiCaprio, “I don’t want to say who, simply because when I finished the script I realised they were a little older than I wanted the character to be.”

Django Unchained is in UK cinemas now and you can watch the trailer below.