Idris Elba Takes 'Pacific Rim' As Jamie Foxx Locks 'Django Unchained'

June 22, 2011
Source: Deadline, Twitter

Idris Elba / Jamie Foxx

Earlier this month we learned that The Losers and Thor star Idris Elba was a frontrunner to take on a role in Guillermo del Toro's big budget sci-fi flick Pacific Rim. At the time, it wasn't entirely clear what role Elba would take, but now Deadline confirms that the actor has closed his deal to take the lead role that was actually originally developed for Tom Cruise. That makes this the most high profile and biggest role of Elba's career now, and that's good news for the powerful supporting actor. He'll be playing the part of Sensei/Pentecost, a black Briton and commanding officer of Charlie Hunnam‘s character. More below!

With Elba's casting, this also means that he's no longer in the running to take a lead role in Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti western Django Unchained. That makes news from Creative Screenwriting's Jeff Goldsmith (via his Twitter) that Jamie Foxx, after being rumored previously, has been chosen to take the role of Django, a freed slave who, under the tutelage of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) becomes a bad-ass bounty hunter himself. Then after helping his German mentor, the two team-up to track down Django's slave wife and liberate her from a man named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a charming but ruthless plantation owner that Django must cross in order to get his wife back. Personally, I was a bigger fan of matching Will Smith against DiCaprio, but this could be a great role for Foxx with some real Oscar potential.

Update: Deadline confirms that Jamie Foxx has been chosen for the lead role in Django Unchained and negotiations are expected to begin imminently. He'll be playing Tarantino's Django!

Find more posts: Casting, Development, Movie News



I'm happy Jamie Foxx won out and not Will Smith. I know it's almost blasphemy to say so, because everybody loves Will Smith, but Foxx is a much more versatile actor. I think he's going to do very well in the role.

Leeloo Dallas Multipass on Jun 22, 2011


How is Foxx a more versatile actor? That doesn't make any sense. Both Foxx and Smith are great actors, but Smith is much more versatile.

No One on Jun 23, 2011


Cool.  Really though?  I'm surprised to hear you say that.  I thought it was a given that Smith is awesome but versatile would be the last word I thought anybody would say about him

heyman29323 on Jun 23, 2011


I guess yes he is a versatile entertainer.  But except for like three movies he is not a very versatile actor.  Usually the same performance

heyman29323 on Jun 23, 2011


I guess yes he is a versatile entertainer.  But except for like three movies he is not a very versatile actor.  Usually the same performance

heyman29323 on Jun 23, 2011


I have yet to see Smith fully lose himself in a role the way Foxx did with his Oscar winning performance in 'Ray'. Smith had a chance with 'Ali' but there was still too much 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' in his character.  Ali's flamboyance was not much of a departure.

Anonymous on Jun 28, 2011


You're right. Both are great actors so there is no reason to compare. But Jamie did transform in two movies, "Ray" and "The Soloist" which he should have been nominated again. Will suggested Jamie for the role he played in Ali to Michael Mann and Jamie went on to star in two more Mann films Collateral and Miami Vice. So there is no animosity. They both are great.

JJhollywood1 on Jun 11, 2012


WOW.... didnt realize how quickly Django was coming together.  Foxx is great, but I would almost lean more toward Elba.  He's got an awesome grit he brings to his characters.  Win-win for both actors though if this comes to fruition.  Cant wait to see both projects come to life,  

Anonymous on Jun 22, 2011


Idris Elba made a great choice teaming up with del Toro. This role is very likely to establish Elba in the high A-list ranks!.......As far as the Tarantino flick, Will Smith would have been the better pick and the flick would have had the potential to be Tarantino's biggest moneymaker, ever! However, Foxx is talented and will bring his A-game to this! Kudos to both actors!

Spider on Jun 22, 2011


I'm fine with this.  Personally, I would have preferred Elba

SkaOreo on Jun 22, 2011


well im fine with this, i mean i remember watching ray and he was spectacular in that film, so i know foxx will bring his A game to tarantino film

Rey on Jun 22, 2011

12 Pacific Rim gonna be more like Macross or Gundam? lol. since there are no actual 'aliens' in gundam lets say Macross.

Anonymous on Jun 22, 2011


jamie foxx can act a fool in real life but this guy is legit just see him in collateral. superb

Tattew18 on Jun 22, 2011


Idris Elba is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. Jamie Foxx on the other hand makes it so hard to forget his public persona while I'm watching his movies. 

Anonymous on Jun 23, 2011



Bltzie on Jun 23, 2011


I think Anthony Mackie was the man for the job in Django...

Sparky on Jun 23, 2011


Am I the only one who CAN'T F*CKING STAND Jamie Foxx?

Chris Lucas on Jun 23, 2011


No. I can't stand him either. What a tool. So disappointed.

Nick on Jun 23, 2011


Idris is the man and Fox were great in Collateral, Ali and Any given sunday. And Ray.

Loser on Jun 23, 2011


Gotta be honest - with Foxx cast and not Elba i'm LESS excited for Django now... 

Harm on Jun 23, 2011


Jamie foxx will bring more fun potential than Will Smith and will make Django even more entertaining; not to mention that Foxx is an OSCAR WINNER Both choices are fine; especially for Elba, as that will bring him A-list status; which Foxx has had since winning his oscar with Ray

Gh on Jun 24, 2011


Foxx is simply a superb actor. His performance in Collateral and his Oscar for Ray simply can not be denied. I think since he wins Grammys for music and is a gifted comedian that people may over look his incredible acting talent. There is a reason that (a) he won an oscar for his first lead role (Ray) and (B) he is only actor EVER nominated for two academy awards in same year.(Collateral same year as Ray)

Ericwilson2008 on Jul 3, 2011


Has no one read the script for "Django"? These are literally off the boat africans, which means they're complexion would be more Idris Elba or Djimon Hounsou. Will Smith is way to light skinned for that to be believable. Foxx borderline as well. Idris Elba would've killed.

FilmFan on Sep 13, 2011

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