CATEGORIES Movie NewsFrom the moment Quentin Tarantino completed his script for his revisionist western masterpiece "Django Unchained," speculation began that the title character, a freed slave-turned-bounty hunter, would go to Will Smith. Tarantino wanted him badly and even signed away the foreign rights to the film to Sony, Smith's frequent home (Universal distributed the hugely successful "Inglourious Basterds" abroad). But Smith passed, opening up a vacuum that would eventually be filled (quite winningly) by Jamie Foxx. The reason that Smith passed always remained vague, but prior commitments to "Men in Black 3" and an uneasiness with the screenplay's content were largely suspected.
However Smith, while chatting up his new sci-fi blockbuster "After Earth," spilled the beans to Entertainment Weekly. "Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!" Smith told EW. (While Django is, arguably, not the lead, the movie is named after him, and he remains the movie's emotional center, even if Christoph Waltz's King Schultz gets all the showy moments and best lines.)
Of course, what Smith really wanted to do was kill Leonardo DiCaprio's evil plantation owner Calvin Candie. " "I was like, 'No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!'" Still, he admitted to EW that he had, at least seen (and loved) the finished product. "I thought it was brilliant," he said, before adding: "Just not for me."