After a monthlong casting search, Quentin Tarantino has found his next leading man, tapping Jamie Foxx to star in “Django Unchained,” sources close to the production tell Variety.
Foxx will play the title role of Django, a freed slave who teams with a German bounty hunter to take on an evil plantation owner in order to retrieve his long-lost love, Broomhilda. Kerry Washington, who played opposite Foxx in “Ray,” has met with Tarantino for the latter role; she’s one of a handful of contenders in the mix.Leonardo DiCaprio has been set as the sadistic slavemaster Calvin Candie, while Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” star Christoph Waltz will play Django’s friend and mentor. Samuel L. Jackson is expected to play Stephen, Candie’s right-hand man.
The Weinstein Co. will distribute the pic Stateside; Sony Pictures will handle the release overseas.
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Tarantino originally offered the role of Django to Will Smith, who passed on the sure-to-be controversial part. The helmer then met with Idris Elba, Terrence Howard and Chris Tucker in recent weeks before settling on Foxx.
Foxx got his start as a comedian on “In Living Color” and won an Oscar in 2005 for playing musician Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford’s biopic “Ray.”
Thesp will soon be seen as a murderous mentor in the comedy “Horrible Bosses” and will further flex his funnybone in drag as the star and scribe of “The Skank Robbers.”
CAA, which reps Foxx, had no comment on the casting. The actor is also repped by manager Rick Yorn.