Kurt Russell may replace Kevin Costner in Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’

As if I hadn’t just had an exhausting but amazing month-long orgy of film, as if I wasn’t sitting here in the airport, ready to fly home, spent and worn out by how great it’s all been, there just had to be one story breaking today that I couldn’t resist writing up before I hop on the plane.

Why?  Because it makes me ridiculously happy, that’s why.

In a recent podcast, Scott and I lamented the idea that Kevin Costner was dropping out of his proposed role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Django Unchained,” and I really am sad he’s not doing it.  I think it would be a nice fit.

However, if Costner dropping out means that Kurt Russell is going to play the part, then sign me up twice.  That’s awesome.  I love Russell in “Death Proof,” and I think he is, in general, under-utilized by filmmakers.  The role he’s stepping in to play is a nasty one, a guy who works for Leonardo DiCaprio, onboard to play the main bad guy in the film.  Samuel L. Jackson’s got a great role in the film already, as does Christoph Waltz, and Jamie Foxx is onboard as the lead in the film.

For those who don’t know what the film’s about, it’s a big sprawling Western, but set in the South of the Reconstruction Era, where Foxx plays a freed slave who teams up with a German bounty hunter to learn his trade and track down his wife, sold away from him.  DiCaprio is a slave plantation owner who pits his slaves in gladiator-style battles, and Russell will play the guy in charge of training the slaves to fight for the games.

We’re only about a month away from the film starting production, and I’m thrilled to think that we’re a year away from a new Tarantino film, especially one with a cast this strong.

The Weinstein Company will release “Django Unchained” in theaters Christmas Day, 2012.