Tarantino’s latest to star… Will Smiff?

We’ve known for some time that Quentin Tarantino’s next project would be a “Southern”, a period revenge story with a slave protagonist.  Last week, his script for Django Unchained was widely leaked across the internet. Now, The Hollywood Reporter reports that the frontrunner for the lead is none other than the patriarch of Hollywood’s most obnoxious family, Will Smith.  Christoph Waltz and Samuel Jackson are widely expected to take supporting roles, but as for Smith, as with most things Will Smith, the sticking point seems to be gratuitous use of the N-word.

Tarantino’s next film, Django Unchained, a spaghetti Western about a slave in the Old South who teams with a German bounty hunter to search for his wife, will be distributed domestically by the Weinstein Co., but Tarantino is in the process of selecting a studio partner to release the film internationally. Sources prepped for those meetings say Tarantino would like Smith to star in the film.

Smith is being teed up for the title role of Django, a freed slave who seeks to reunite with his slave wife, a journey that will see him team with a German bounty hunter to take down an evil plantation owner.

Tarantino wrote the bounty hunter part with Waltz in mind, according to insiders. The German ends up training Django and helping him seek his wife.

Jackson would play the house slave to the bad guy, Monsieur Calvin Candie. The slave is an expert manipulator and will face off with Django.

Smith and his reps have received the screenplay, which could be a hot potato due to the themes of racism and the liberal use of the N-word. It’s unclear whether Smith has read the script yet. The actor manages his image very carefully, but the part is heroic and could be iconic. Tarantino is aiming for a fall shoot in the South.

Oh God, I can already hear every fluff piece Will Smith interview for the next 18 months, where he earnestly explains what a great opportunity this was teach to his children an Important Lesson About Their Ancestors, while the breathless host treats him like the Dalai Lama.  As if parading your dumb wiener kids around like miniature promotional tools for yourself makes you a great parent. Will Smith seems like the type of guy who’d drive a minivan with stick caricatures of everyone in the family on the back window, the kind of thing I always see and interpret as a sign warning “My house has a rape dungeon.”