Rumor Patrol: DiCaprio and Elba in Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:46 pm,

Leonardo DiCaprio rumored for Django Unchained Rumor Patrol: DiCaprio and Elba in Tarantinos Django Unchained [Updated]

Quentin Tarantino is getting ready to bring his latest pastiche work, Django Unchained, to life in cinematic form. The fast-talking filmmaker looks to have possibly roped in Will Smith to play the titular character, a creation that harkins back to Sergio Corb’s influential 1966 spaghetti Western, Django.

Now there’s a semi-rumor circling that Tarantino has lassoed another big name to star in his new film – none other than Leonardo DiCaprio, a fellow who the Pulp Fiction director had (reportedly) originally hoped to work with on Inglourious Basterds.

Jeff Goldsmith – who was also part of the first wave that spread the word about Smith and Tarantino teaming up for Django Unchainedtweeted the following earlier today:

Casting Rumor: Leonardo DiCaprio WILL play villian [sic] Calvin Candie in Tarantino’s Django Unchained! QT wanted him for I.B. & now has him!

DiCaprio is one of the hardest-working actors in the biz right now – and his involvement with upcoming titles like The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street makes it difficult to imagine him being available for Tarantino’s latest. All the same, he could certainly make for one nasty, but refined, villain if the stars align on this rumor.

UPDATE: Variety is also now reporting that DiCaprio is in talks to sign on for Tarantino’s new film.

DiCaprio on the set of 'J. Edgar'

The alliteratively-named Mr. Candie is a wicked plantation owner, alive and well in the pre-Civil War Southern U.S. He’s also a slave trader and head of The Cleopatra Club, an institution that Tarantino’s Django Unchained screenplay (according to Bleeding Cool) describes as an “interracial joint… as long as by interracial you mean white men and black women.”

Django Unchained would follow the titular freed slave as he is tutored by a German bounty hunter (Basterds‘ Christoph Waltz) to become what an unconfirmed early description pegs as a “bad-ass bounty hunter himself.” The two thereafter join forces to rescue Django’s wife from Mr. Candie, whose right-hand man and house slave is said to be “an expert manipulator” who squares off against Django in (essentially) a death match. Samuel L. Jackson is said to be circling that role.

It’s starting to become all too clear just what that unconfirmed early description of Tarantino’s script meant when it said the project “deals with racism as I’ve rarely seen it handled in a Hollywood film.”

Idris Elba in Django Unchained?

The following tweet by Idris Elba over the weekend has prompted speculation that he too could be up for a role in Django Unchained:

Having one of the biggest meetings of my professional life today…meeting a very controversial director for a very controversial part. :-/

Obviously, there are numerous films roles and directors that would fit the term “controversial,” but the fact that Django Unchained is beginning to gain traction right now means it’s one of the more likely possibilities. Combine that with Smith’s “not yet officially committed” status, with regard to the starring role in Tarantino’s spaghetti western/blaxploitation homage mash-up set in the Old U.S. South (there’s a mouthful), and it’s entirely possible that Elba could also be a contender to tackle the role of Django.

Smith is definitely the bigger name, but Elba is arguably quite deserving of the term “fan-favorite”. He’s delivered numerous memorable supporting and/or leading performances over the past year alone (most recently, in Thor) – and Elba also possesses both the intimidating physical build and powerful screen presence to make the title part of Django Unchained very much an iconic one.

It’s also possible that Elba is up for a different part in the film – so fans of both actors may get to have their cake and eat it too.

idris elba heimdall thor Rumor Patrol: DiCaprio and Elba in Tarantinos Django Unchained [Updated]

Idris Elba as Heimdall in 'Thor'

Tarantino does not necessarily need an A-lister like Smith onboard to get a project the greenlight (he himself is a brand name that sells tickets). It seems more likely right now that DiCaprio could end up playing the villain in Django Unchained than Elba as the title character – even so, here’s hoping that neither one of these possibilities turn out to be merely a pipe dream.

Expect to hear more about Django Unchained in the near future.

Source: Jeff Goldsmith, Idris Elba

Update Source: Variety

“Django Unchained” header image artwork created by Federico Mancosu

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  1. Elba should be in and Smith out for the main role. Elba vs. Dicaprio? That’s too good to pass up. Elba is a better actor than Smith anyway.

    • I respectfully disagree. Although Idris has talent, Will Smith’s talent is more colorful. Will Smith is definitely my first choice. Idris Elba, well, he comes second lol

  2. the true is Idris Elba should get the main role we need other black actors to make it big in Hollywood. Will Smith has become the default black actor for major roles. even thought i would like Smith in a QT movie but Idris Elba needs this chance to shine more in Hollywood.

  3. Even though I’m not really a fan I liked the idea of Will Smith in the role. But Elba would ten times better.

  4. I think Elba would be much better for the part. I like Smith, but Tarantino has a history of either taking someone deserving and giving them the push they need to be great, or taking someone who is type casted and turning that on its head. It would be awesome to see DiCaprio be evil and ruthless and it would mirror Sergio Leone’s casting of Henry Fonda as the villian in Once Upon a Time in the West, which turned out amazing.

  5. i have no idea what the story of the previous movie is but between the plot, actors, and Tarantino’s style i can already kind of picture what its going to be like. not to mention Christoph Waltz as a bounty hunter/mentor. kind of looking forward to another movie in 2012 other than TDKR now.

  6. Sheeeeeeittttt, come on String!!! If you guys have Netflix you should check out Elba’s TV series “Luthor”, it is 6 one hour long episodes. Good stuff!

  7. Yeeeeees!! Now this is more like it.. It should be Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor or Denzel.. Not Smith. In my opinion.. Leo is fine

  8. This just got me even more interested. Leo is great and Elba has become one of my favorite actors.
    When he played string on the wire it was just very natural and believable. I guess this movie, dark knight rises, and Neil blomkpamps “Elysium” are the only movies I’m looking forward to.

  9. I like Will Smith, but somehow I feel Idris Elba would be more fitting for the role of Django. Smith is “TOO” big a star, know what I mean? But, having said that, I wouldn’t mind having both in the movie! :)

    It will also be exciting to see who QT chooses for the female part. Any guesses there?

  10. oo whats wrong whit you guys..i say f**k Idris Elba, and get will smith

  11. I’d be so relieved if it was Idris Elba for the lead part instead of Smith. I find a Smith a very limited performer and don’t particularly like any of his films. That tweet by Elba is not alot to go on though :/

    • “…Smith a very limited performer”?! dude, which Will Smith are you talking about? The one whose range has covered such diverse projects as Six degrees of separation, Pursuit of Happiness, Seven Pounds, and ALI to BAD BOYS, INDEPENDENCE DAY, ENEMY OF STATE, MEN IN BLACK, HANCOCK, and I AM LEGEND? I seriously beg to differ.

      • So basically he does 2 types of performance? One where he is a loud mouth and the other… where he isn’t?

  12. I’m tired of Will Smith. Give Idris Elba a chance. He will rock this part! And DiCaprio will be awesome! I’m rolling with Tarantino ’til the wheels fall off!

  13. i dont believe Will can show the deep soulful pain the way Id could that i believe the role requires. Plus Id is a fav of mine and i wud luv to see him get a meaty role worthy of the one he had in the wire.

  14. Michael K Williams > idris > will