Will Smith Reveals Why He Turn Down Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’

Posted By Urban News Hour | March 25, 2013

While promoting Men In Black III, Will Smith said the following when asked why he didn’t take the role of Django:

“I came really close, it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever ever seen… I was in the middle of ‘Men In Black 3’ and [Tarantino] was ready to go, and I just couldn’t sit with him and get through the issues, so I didn’t want to hold him up. That thing’s going to be ridiculous. It is a genius screenplay.”

However, When Quentin Tarantino’s western revenge-fantasy Django Unchained was first announced, casting rumors pegged Will Smith as the titular slave-turned-vigilante.

Smith, who teams with his son Jaden in this summer’s sci-fi epic After Earth, Explains the reason why he turned down the part. Smiths says, the character would’ve been second-fiddle to the bounty hunter (played by Christoph Waltz) who teaches Django his trade .

“Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!” says the Men in Black star, whose departure opened the door for Jamie Foxx to play the role. Smith says that before he left the project, he even pleaded with Tarantino to let Django have a more central role in the story. “I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’”

Smith says that before he left the project, he even pleaded with Tarantino to let Django have a more central role in the story. “I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’” (Ironically, Waltz was considered a supporting actor during his Oscar-winning award season, while Jamie Foxx was promoted as the movie’s lead.)

But no hard feelings: Smith was a big fan of the final product. “I thought it was brilliant,” he says. “Just not for me.”

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