Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen Freed from 'Django Unchained'
Not all news is good news, and it sounds like there's been more than a few bouts of bad luck when it comes to casting Quentin Tarantino's western Django Unchained. First, Kevin Costner had to step out of his role as Ace Woody, the right-hand man of ruthless plantation/slave-owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt has also been forced to step out of his role due to scheduling because of his directorial debut. Thankfully, Death Proof Kurt Russell stepped in for the former actor as the secondary villain, but it appears some trouble on the set has caused Russell walk away from the film.
In addition, it appears Sacha Baron Cohen, who landed a part in November, is no longer appearing in the film either, but for completely different reasons. The press tour for The Dictator is keeping him busy while he would be shooting the role in the film right now. It's not clear who will replace him or, since Cohen told Howard Stern (via The Film Stage) that it was more of a cameo role, if the role will just be written out completely. Meanwhile, there seems to be more tension about Russell's exit. Jeff Sneider from Variety tweeted about Russell's departure, and there's a rumor circulating on the IMDb message boards (where legitimate news sometimes surfaces) that Russell became unhappy with his part and the film in general because it wasn't "western enough" and simply walked off the set and never came back.
And so, since Russell had already been shooting, whenever someone replaces him, there will likely be some reshoots that need to be done. No matter who they get, the cast already has plenty of talent to keep people interested as it includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Gerald McRaney, Dennis Christopher, Laura Cayouette, M.C. Gainey, Don Johnson, Kerry Washington, Anthony LaPaglia, RZA, Tom Wopat, James Remar, James Russo and Todd Allen. Yeah that's some good stuff. We'll keep you posted on this snafu and a potential replacement for Russell.
UPDATE: Apparently Russell has not exactly been replaced, but AICN reports his character has been absorbed by Walton Goggins, a casting addition that was never officially announced, but has clearly been confirmed. Goggins is playing a nasty character named Billy Crash, and it sounds like he just might be the right hand man to Leonardo DiCaprio's Calvin Candle instead of Ace Woody, a role that might be written out completely now. Apparently Russell's exit may not have been as dramatic as rumored above, and Tarantino has adjusted quickly and easily to the change. Hopefully this is the last bit of trouble the film has.