Like Martin Scorsese and many thirtysomething women, Quentin Tarantino has a thing for Leonardo DiCaprio, a torch he’s carried since attempting to scuff up the actor’s likable rogue image by giving him the Hans Landa role in Inglourious Basterds (which eventually went to Christoph Waltz). But Tarantino may soon get his wish to work with DiCaprio on Django Unchained, as the two are once again in talks about his playing a villainous role, that of Calvin Candie, the “charming but ruthless proprietor of Candyland, a despicable club in Mississippi where female slaves are exploited as sex objects and males are pitted against each other in ‘mandingo’ style death matches.” Terrible things happen in the shadow of the Gumdrop Mountains.
If he takes the part—and so far he’s just in early talks—DiCaprio would face off against the freed slave Django, who’s working his bloody way to Candie in order to rescue his wife with the help of a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, most likely played by Christoph Waltz, just to bring things full circle. And while previous reports suggested that Will Smith was in the lead to take on the role of Django, Deadline now believes that’s a “long shot,” which should certainly help the film save on its trailer budget. Other contenders reportedly include Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx, and even Chris Tucker, whose small part in Jackie Brown proved that he was capable of doing things other than shrieking at Jackie Chan. Anyway, all of this is still very tentative, and so far only Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson seem like locks, the latter as Candie’s valet who “keeps the slaves in line.” Yes, this could end up being a film where Leonardo DiCaprio bosses around Samuel L. Jackson and squares off against Chris Tucker. And somehow it will still be pretty good.