Apparently not having learned the lessons of the past, Quentin Tarantino is trying to cast Will Smith in his upcoming homage to spaghetti Westerns, titled Django Unchained. (It's actually more of a "Southern," in Tarantino's words; the story, set in the 19th century, concerns a freed slave battling an evil slaveholder. Slavery! There's something Quentin Tarantino of all people will address tastefully.)

Or maybe he has learned some lessons from the past; after all, he's always had a knack for rehabilitating actors who've lost the respect of the critical establishment. John Travolta's career was a joke (specifically, a joke about a talking baby) until Tarantino cast him in Pulp Fiction. The studio begged him to cast anyone but Travolta, but Tarantino was adamant, and the film revived Travolta's fortunes.

The situation's a little different here, though, in that a) Will Smith's fortunes are in no need of reviving, and b) while Travolta had done some great naturalistic work and showed a lot of promise as a young actor in the '70s, no one's ever claimed Will Smith was a great actor. It's not like he was the second coming of Marlon Brando on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; he's more just an affable, cross-demographically appealing face.

And, as The AV Club points out, Smith's probably way too protective of his aforementioned fortunes to touch a role that's as politically touchy as this (did we mention the slavery part?), even if the director is an arthouse legend. Still, it's kind of an intriguing idea. Maybe Will Smith has some uncharted depths.

Commentarium (9 Comments)

May 09 11 - 11:07pm

Look Who's Talking if fucking funny. Seriously whens the last you watched that movie?

May 10 11 - 2:03am
Danielle Gibson

Well, I watched Look Who's Talking Too over the weekend, and it was insane. I don't understand who the target audience for these films were. You'd think family but they say "fuck" at least 15 times, plus some very disturbing toilet imagery. By that I mean a toilet monster.

May 10 11 - 2:29am

will smith was good in Ali and in the Pursuit of Happiness (however heart-warming you think that film was ... it IS based on a true story after all). and he's got solid comic timing.

May 10 11 - 10:13pm

Based on a true story means naff all. What you have are elements from a real life episode being fictionalised to hell for the sake of entertainment.

May 10 11 - 9:16am

Tarantino is a talentless dick wad, Will Smith DONT DO IT. Please!

May 10 11 - 10:16am

Will Smith + Quentin Tarantino = celebration of style over substance.

May 10 11 - 3:45pm

I usually defend Tarantino but this may be going a bit too far. His "homages" are becoming blatant ripoffs.

May 10 11 - 3:53pm

Didn't Will Smith also get a lot of critical acclaim for Six Degrees Of Separation?

May 26 11 - 9:30am

I would so frikkin watch that..... Will Smith in a QT movie.