It's no secret that Will Smith was Quentin Taratino's first-choice to play the lead in his 2012 western-revenge film Django Unchained. Tarantino went after Smith hard, but the Men in Black star passed on the role and it eventually went to Jamie Foxx, who earned rave reviews and the film went on to become Tarantino's biggest box office hit ever.
In 2013, Smith told Entertainment Weekly why he passed on the now-famous role. "Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead," he explained. "The other character was the lead! I was like, 'No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!'"
During The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actor Roundtable, Smith provided some more reasons. "It was about the creative direction of the story," Smith said. "To me, it's as perfect a story as you could ever want: a guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave. That idea is perfect. And it was just that Quentin and I couldn't see [eye to eye]. He added, "I wanted to make that movie so badly, but I felt the only way was, it had to be a love story, not a vengeance story."
Set in the South two years before the Civil War, DJANGO UNCHAINED stars Academy Award®-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django promising to free him upon the capture of the Brittles - dead or alive. Also starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson.