It's looking like Will Smith has passed on Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, and the role will instead go to Jamie Foxx, reports Deadline.
Star of The Wire, Idris Elba had also been linked with the role of a former slave, looking for revenge, but he has instead replaced Tom Cruise in Guillermo del Toro‘s sci-fi monster epic, Pacific Rim. Apparently Foxx has yet to fully commit to Django and is also concerned about the controversial content. Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L Jackson are not concerned with the content and have all reportedly committed to the film.
I think the casting of this production - and some stars failure to sign on - speaks volumes about Hollywood. Will Smith is a talented, charismatic leading man; but is predominately about commerce with his image a big part of that business. DiCaprio on the other hand took one of the biggest risks in modern cinematic history by headlining Inception. Christopher Nolan was a proven helmer before, but one or two misjudged scenes and that could've been a self indulgent mess. I haven't read the Django script, but it apparently has "the n word" littered throughout. Something that shouldn't be a surprise with a film based around slavery.
I would've liked to have seen Smith in the role and it's a shame he's not now going to be. Men In Black 3, on the other hand, will be out next year.