Thesp in negotiations to play villain Calvin Candie

Quentin Tarantino finally has his man. After writing the villainous role of Col. Hans Landa in “Inglourious Basterds” with Leonardo DiCaprio in mind, the duo are finally preparing to collaborate on the helmer’s next pic, “Django Unchained.”

While his reps had no comment, sources tell Variety that DiCaprio is in negotiations to play the villain, Calvin Candie, in the highly-anticipated film, which will be distributed in the U.S. by The Weinstein Co. and by Sony overseas.

Candie operates a Mississippi plantation called Candyland where he pits male slaves against each other in brutal fights to the death when he isn’t busy sexually exploiting female slaves.

While Will Smith remains in the mix to play the title character, insiders say that Tarantino is meeting with other actors in case Smith opts to pass on the project, though DiCaprio’s casting will certainly help encourage his participation.

Idris Elba is one rising star who Tarantino is looking at, though the Oscar-winning filmmaker is also considering a reunion with Chris Tucker, who played Beaumont Livingston in the helmer’s “Jackie Brown.”

“Basterds” star Christoph Waltz and “Pulp Fiction” star Samuel L. Jackson are expected to play Django’s German mentor and Candie’s right-hand slave, respectively. However, in the script, the character Jackson would play grew up with Candie, so if DiCaprio takes the part, Tarantino will have to slightly tweak that role due to the age difference between the actors.

DiCaprio next stars as FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in the Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” which Warner Bros. will release Dec. 14.

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