It looks like Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson aren’t going to be the only familiar faces from the Quentin Tarantino movie universe that show up in the filmmaker’s latest throwback to violent tales of the Old West – or, in the case of Django Unchained, slavery-era Southern U.S.

Kevin Costner had to back out of appearing in Django Unchained about two weeks ago, reportedly due to a scheduling conflict but Tarantino looks to have found his replacement – in the shape of the director’s Death Proof leading man.

Heat Vision is reporting that Kurt Russell has officially begun negotiations to sign on for Django Unchained, which could mark the longtime fan-favorite star’s first onscreen appearance since Tarantino’s Grindhouse flick, back in 2007. It also ought to be mentioned that this would be the second time Russell has filled a previously-occupied role in a Tarantino production – seeing how the actor’s Death Proof character (“Stuntman Mike”) was originally set to be portrayed by Mickey Rourke.

Russell would help fill out the supporting cast of Django Unchained by playing Ace Woody, the remorseless trainer who pits “Mandingo” fighters (ie. male slaves) against one another – as a means of entertainment for caucasian customers of the 19th century club/brothel known as Candyland. The organization is run by vicious plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is assisted by his cunning and loyal house slave, Stephen (Jackson).

Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx will star as the titular Django, an ex-slave who is trained in the “art” of bloody revenge by a German bounty hunter (Waltz). The two thereafter join forces in order to rescue Django’s wife, Broomhilda, from Candie – who forces her to work as a prostitute in his club.

Rounding out the cast are the likes of Dennis Christopher as Candie’s lawyer, Leo Moguy – along with actress Laura Cayouette (a.k.a. “Rocket” from Kill Bill: Vol. 2) as Candie’s widowed sister (and plantation co-owner) and Gerald McRaney in an undisclosed role.

The cast of Django Unchained was already pretty fantastic, so having Russell onboard is just icing on the cake (so to speak). Russell is no stranger to western-flavored films (see: Tombstone) and he should be more than a perfect fit to make Ace Woody a memorable, intimidating, and badass villain – as should actors like DiCaprio and Jackson in their respective antagonistic roles.

On that note: Django Unchained is certainly shaping up to be quite the Tarantino-style pulpy period tale – and will definitely be even more controversial than his previous work, given that the filmmaker looks to take a violent and gritty approach to some uncomfortable topics (ex. the brutal nature of slavery and dark side of American history).

Those who found Tarantino’s previous creations to be excessively exploitative in nature will surely blanche at the idea of the man tackling a story like this. However, for many a cinemaphile and dedicated Taratino fan alike, Django Unchained is already on their must-see list – if not their most-anticipated upcoming project.

Django Unchained begins principal photography in November 2011, so as to make its scheduled December 25th, 2012 U.S. theatrical release date.

Source: Heat Vision