Once upon a time in Hollywood, it was rumored that actor Idris Elba was up for the role of Django in Quentin Tarantino’s then-in-development Django Unchained. As you’re already aware, this particular casting choice did not happen and the part instead went to Jamie Foxx. During an event at the Toronto International Film Festival, however, Foxx revealed that he once tried to talk Elba out of working with Tarantino during a chance encounter the pair had during Django‘s casting process.
According to IndieWire, while speaking with Just Mercy co-star Michael B. Jordan and festival co-founder Cameron Bailey, Foxx told the crowd that Tarantino was “incredible.” What’s more, he thought the director was the best “because of what he does and how he does it.” When it came to Django‘s casting process, though, he was initially miffed. Why? Because he initially wasn’t included in the final group of names that was presented to Tarantino. But Elba was, so when Foxx ran into him, he jumped at the chance:
The way Foxx tells it, Elba brought Django up in the conversation when they ran into each other and asked his thoughts on Tarantino. Foxx low-key tried talking Elba out of the role by saying his looks would be a distraction. “You’re beautiful black ass riding up on a horse, there’s going to be some problems for everyone,” Foxx quipped.
Tarantino ultimately passed on Elba because, as he explained it at the time, the actor’s British-ness just wasn’t right for what he called “an American story.” But that’s okay! For, as everyone should know by now, Elba finally got his chance to play a gun-toting outlaw character in a little wild west-like story called The Dark Tower. So, everything worked out okay, right?