When the eccentric filmmaker Quentin Tarantino wrote Django Unchained, he wrote it with one person in mind: Will Smith. However, when Django Unchained began its principal photography, Jamie Foxx was at helm of the leading role. Empire Magazine took note of the change and, during a sit-down with Smith, asked him why he didn’t take the starring role.
“I came really close, it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever ever seen… I was in the middle of ‘Men In Black 3′ and [Tarantino] was ready to go, and I just couldn’t sit with him and get through the issues, so I didn’t want to hold him up. That thing’s going to be ridiculous. It is a genius screenplay.”
There were rumors that Smith was afraid to take on such a controversial role in a controversial film, but it should be noted that Will’s first starring role was that of a closeted gay man in Six Degrees of Separation. Which went on to earn him acclaim in the rather surprising choice of character. Django Unchained looks to whip into theaters on Christmas Day.