Kevin Costner has dropped out of Quentin Tarantino's upcoming western DJANGO UNCHAINED. The actor was originally slated to play Ace Woody (don't laugh), right hand man to Leonardo DiCaprio's villain Calvin Candie. It's easy to forget that Costner was once regarded as a critically acclaimed actor and massive box office draw - until it all went tits up with 1995's WATER WORLD of course. This could have been a career resurrection akin to that of Travolta's with PULP FICTION, Tarantino reminding audiences that these guys are still out there, and why we liked them in the first place. (Though without Tarantino's guiding hand Travolta soon flushed it all back down the toilet).
So why has Costner turned the film down? Scheduling conflicts. That old chestnut.
Did he lose his bottle (as you probably know the screenplay deals with some potentially controversial themes)? Or is he really jacking it in to make the upcoming History Channel TV movie THE HATFIELDS & THE MCCOYS? Because that's a tough sell.
Though his CV will forever remain DJANGO-free, Costner fans need to rest easy however, as he's also in the midst of shooting Zack Snyder's MAN OF STEEL as Supes' adoptive pa Jonathan Kent. It's likely you'll still see that resurrection yet.
There's some good news for Tarantino fans though, this week saw Samuel L. Jackson officially sign on as Stephen, Calvin Candie's house-slave. "I've had it with these motherfuffin' snakes on my motherfuffin' plane-tation!". If you will.
DJANGO UNCHAINED will feature Jamiee Foxx as the titular avenging slave, Christoph Waltz as his mentor, and the aforementioned Leonardo DiCaprio as the big bad Calvin Candie.
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