ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

It's now hard to imagine anyone else other than Jamie Foxx in the role of Django in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, but for a while there was quite a long list of actors in some way connected to the role.

Prior to Foxx's casting, Idris Elba, Chris Tucker, Terrence Howard, Michael K. Williams, and Tyrese were in some way rumored to have discussed the role, although it also seems that Will Smith came extremely close to becoming Django.

Smith has previously explained why he didn't sign up for the movie, and mostly cited scheduling difficulties and the fact Django wasn't the lead. However, in The Hollywood Reporter round-table chat, he opened up a bit more about the real reason he kept his distance. He explained:

"We talked, we met, we sat for hours and hours about it. I wanted to make that movie so badly, but I felt the only way was, it had to be a love story, not a vengeance story. I don’t believe in violence as the reaction to violence. So when I’m looking at that, it’s like: 'No, no, no. It has to be for love.' We can’t look at what happens in Paris [the terrorist attacks] and want to fuck somebody up for that. Violence begets violence. So I just couldn’t connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer."

Of course, it sounds like Smith is proposing a completely different movie and violent vengeance is clearly one of the central themes of Django Unchained. Furthermore, although Smith's views on violence creating more violence make sense and I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments, it's not exactly the responsibility of filmmakers to present the world as we'd ideally like to see it. More often than not, they create stories which reflect the real world, and as is quite clear, the real world was, and indeed is, unfortunately a place where violence is often answered with more violence.

There are, of course, filmmakers who would like to imbue their movies with their own personal sense of idealistic moral education, but I think it was naive to suggest Tarantino was ever going to be one of those.

Source: IndieWire


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