By now, I’ve learned to have faith regarding Quentin Tarantino and his casting. I may not love the choice of Jamie Foxx for Django, the lead in his upcoming movie “Django Unchained,” but I understand that there were more factors that went into it than just “Hey, let me hire anybody I feel like hiring.” The only thing that scared me about Foxx when he was announced is that we haven’t really seen him play period like this before, and he’s such a thoroughly modern guy that it is hard for me to imagine.
Kevin Costner, though? Man, that’s perfect.
I am actively anticipating what happens when “Django Unchained” is released, because it is the single most incendiary thing Tarantino’s ever written, and a damn good story besides. It’s one thing to provoke, and that’s easy. But when you create great characters, spin a great yarn, and you manage to provoke at the same time, that’s something special, and that’s exactly what it feels like “Django Unchained” is going to pull off.
I’m not exactly sure when it became cool to hate Kevin Costner, but you can count me out of that particular hipster affectation. I like Costner precisely because he’s got a taste for earnest, resolutely un-cynical material, and I like him both as a performer and a director. I am thrilled that he’s got a big 2012 on the books now with his role as Pa Kent in Zack Snyder’s “Man Of Steel” and now with the role of Ace Woody, a truly vile and wretched human being, in “Django Unchained.”
Ace Woody works for Calvin Candie (Leonardo Di Caprio), who owns a club and a plantation dedicated to the pit fighting of slaves. Ace Woody is the guy who trains the biggest “mandingo” slaves as fighters, and he’s a despicable character. It’s a smaller role, but it’s exactly the kind of supporting character that good actors can make a meal of, and I think Costner’s going to dig in with both hands.
It’s exciting enough just knowing there’s a new Tarantino film coming, but this film in particular and the cast that he’s putting together? It strikes me as reason to celebrate, and I can’t wait for the finished product.
“Django Unchained” is set for release December 25, 2012.