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Will Smith amends his story about turning down Django Unchained once more

11.23.2015

Sometimes you need to let things go. Even when you realize you probably made a horrible mistake and your mind is full of regret, you have to keep looking forward. Looking to the past only leads to making up excuses for why you screwed up so badly, unless you're willing to be perfectly honest about the reasons for your choices.

Will Smith is not, which is why he keeps getting himself into a pickle of unbelievability when it comes to why he opted to not take the offered lead in Quentin Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED.

Let me refresh your memory - Will Smith was Tarantino's #1 choice to play Django, and conversations were had between them about the role. But it never came to pass with Smith passing, and Jamie Foxx eventually stepping in, helping make DJANGO UNCHAINED the highest-grossing Tarantino film to this point.

It was definitely a role many were intrigued to see Smith take on, given his penchant for playing it a bit safe with the movies he chooses to get involved with. So we all wondered what about Tarantino's film didn't strike the right chord with Big Willie Style.

Two years ago, we got his answer.

Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. (Christoph Waltz) was the lead... I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’

Waltz would win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for that performance as "the lead," so Tarantino looks pretty good for not changing the dynamic of those two characters in his picture. But apparently, as Smith has thought about this more, looking back on a movie he understands he probably should have taken, his mindset on why he didn't has shifted a bit. And now we have yet another excuse from the actor as to why DJANGO UNCHAINED wasn't right for him.

It was about the creative direction of the story. 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].

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.

We can’t look at what happens in Paris [the terrorist attacks] and want to f— somebody up for that. Violence begets violence. I just couldn't connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer.

Let me get this straight... It was perfect, but I wanted to change it, and love somehow needed to conquer all in a tale of a slave saving his wife and taking action against his masters? Ummm... Yeah. Okay.

Now it's your turn. What's the real reason Will Smith backed away from the chance to star in DJANGO UNCHAINED?

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10:56AM on 11/24/2015

HE ALSO TURNED DOWN THE LEAD FORTHE MATRIX

.... Dumb decisions ... As a movie star just makes as many movies you can for the big screen ... be reminder in every genre
.... Dumb decisions ... As a movie star just makes as many movies you can for the big screen ... be reminder in every genre
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8:43AM on 11/24/2015
He needed to be the lead. Didn't want violence to be the answer.
*takes second-fiddle role of assassin Deadshot in Suicide Squad*
He needed to be the lead. Didn't want violence to be the answer.
*takes second-fiddle role of assassin Deadshot in Suicide Squad*
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4:15AM on 11/24/2015
sounds so pretentious.Then he should stop doing Action films
sounds so pretentious.Then he should stop doing Action films
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4:01AM on 11/24/2015
The real reason he turned it down. Was because Smith wanted to add an extra line to the script and Tarantino wasnt having any of it. The said line was.... 'Lets go save the world'
The real reason he turned it down. Was because Smith wanted to add an extra line to the script and Tarantino wasnt having any of it. The said line was.... 'Lets go save the world'
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10:09AM on 11/24/2015
"Welcome to the South!"
*punches Leo in the face. cue rap song*
"Welcome to the South!"
*punches Leo in the face. cue rap song*
8:40AM on 11/25/2015
lol, deepspacemonkey
lol, deepspacemonkey
12:24AM on 11/24/2015
Y'know, to be fair to Will Smith, there REALLY aren't a lot of careers out there where your previous bad decisions get brought up in interviews constantly. Might be a *bit* easier to let it go and move on if OTHER people didn't keep reminding him of it :p
Y'know, to be fair to Will Smith, there REALLY aren't a lot of careers out there where your previous bad decisions get brought up in interviews constantly. Might be a *bit* easier to let it go and move on if OTHER people didn't keep reminding him of it :p
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2:49PM on 11/27/2015
Tell me about it, like Will Smith is the only actor to have never turned down a role. Directors do it, writers do it, actors do it. Get over it already.
Tell me about it, like Will Smith is the only actor to have never turned down a role. Directors do it, writers do it, actors do it. Get over it already.
10:13PM on 11/23/2015
I've heard from a reliable source that Will Smith will only appear in westerns that feature giant mechanical spiders, and Quentin said "no". So there you have it.
I've heard from a reliable source that Will Smith will only appear in westerns that feature giant mechanical spiders, and Quentin said "no". So there you have it.
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9:16PM on 11/23/2015

Just Hush for Now...

If only he had said NO to being cast as Jim West in one of the worst TV remakes in history "Wild, Wild West".

I guess he needed a check.
If only he had said NO to being cast as Jim West in one of the worst TV remakes in history "Wild, Wild West".

I guess he needed a check.
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9:02PM on 11/23/2015

The real reason he turned it down

Was because Tarantino wouldn't write an obligatory "Will Smith can run really fast" scene
Was because Tarantino wouldn't write an obligatory "Will Smith can run really fast" scene
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8:16PM on 11/23/2015

I suspect Will Smith heard Christoph Waltz was cast as Schultz

and realized he was about to be in a Kevin Costner versus Alan Rickman scenario (ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, in case I lost ya). He figured Waltz was going to blow him off the screen, and that's why Smith was concerned about being "The Lead."

I'm not complaining: Jamie Foxx was a far better choice for the role.
and realized he was about to be in a Kevin Costner versus Alan Rickman scenario (ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, in case I lost ya). He figured Waltz was going to blow him off the screen, and that's why Smith was concerned about being "The Lead."

I'm not complaining: Jamie Foxx was a far better choice for the role.
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12:51PM on 11/24/2015
I can't imagine the movie WITHOUT Jamie Foxx.
I can't imagine the movie WITHOUT Jamie Foxx.
+0
8:15PM on 11/23/2015

Has he not heard the term "Revenge fantasy"?

Maybe Quentin didn't clarify that it was one. However: A) The script made it obvious (a slave wouldn't have gotten away with all of that). B) INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, which re-writes history in a more obvious way. Did Will see that movie?

If this had been a morality tale/character study he would've had a point, but it was an over-the-top mix of genres. By the way, why did he bring it up? Did someone directly ask him? Otherwise, I agree that he should move on.
Maybe Quentin didn't clarify that it was one. However: A) The script made it obvious (a slave wouldn't have gotten away with all of that). B) INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, which re-writes history in a more obvious way. Did Will see that movie?

If this had been a morality tale/character study he would've had a point, but it was an over-the-top mix of genres. By the way, why did he bring it up? Did someone directly ask him? Otherwise, I agree that he should move on.
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8:05PM on 11/23/2015
Once again I'm convince this was a response to a leading question. How many times do your friends bring up to you that time that they fucked up two or three years back, unless they're feeling particularly depressed and/or drunk?

I agree with him to some degree, but that's not what Tarantino does. Even though love DOES win in the end, once every other character is dead. And like The_Soloist, I feel that Foxx was ideal in a way I can't see Smith being.
Once again I'm convince this was a response to a leading question. How many times do your friends bring up to you that time that they fucked up two or three years back, unless they're feeling particularly depressed and/or drunk?

I agree with him to some degree, but that's not what Tarantino does. Even though love DOES win in the end, once every other character is dead. And like The_Soloist, I feel that Foxx was ideal in a way I can't see Smith being.
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9:45PM on 11/23/2015
Hey, thanks.
Hey, thanks.
7:36PM on 11/23/2015
I don't disagree with what he's saying now, but two years ago he NEEDS to kill the bad guy. Probably with violence.
Also the answer is always 42.
I don't disagree with what he's saying now, but two years ago he NEEDS to kill the bad guy. Probably with violence.
Also the answer is always 42.
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7:34PM on 11/23/2015
The ego on this guy. That's why I can't really stand any of his films anymore. I'm glad that Smith turned it down because Foxx was perfect to the point where I couldn't even see anyone else in the role but him.
The ego on this guy. That's why I can't really stand any of his films anymore. I'm glad that Smith turned it down because Foxx was perfect to the point where I couldn't even see anyone else in the role but him.
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7:22PM on 11/23/2015
Horse sh**. It's your ego, Mr. Smith. You've got to be the Lead. That's why you turned down the role. That's also why Jamie Foxx got the role because he's not nitpicking.
Horse sh**. It's your ego, Mr. Smith. You've got to be the Lead. That's why you turned down the role. That's also why Jamie Foxx got the role because he's not nitpicking.
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7:05PM on 11/23/2015
Love is not the answer. Violence is the answer.
Love is not the answer. Violence is the answer.
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6:47PM on 11/23/2015
As much as I love Tarantino, I partially agree with Smith's comments. The last act of the film is very weak, because the main bad guy has been killed by the mentor. Which is a great moment, but the film loses steam after that. It's like if Gordon killed the Joker and the end of Act 2, and Batman rounds up all the henchmen after that. I'm not sure playing up the love story was the right answer, but if I'm honest once Leo and Waltz are dead the rest of the film doesn't work as well as the first
As much as I love Tarantino, I partially agree with Smith's comments. The last act of the film is very weak, because the main bad guy has been killed by the mentor. Which is a great moment, but the film loses steam after that. It's like if Gordon killed the Joker and the end of Act 2, and Batman rounds up all the henchmen after that. I'm not sure playing up the love story was the right answer, but if I'm honest once Leo and Waltz are dead the rest of the film doesn't work as well as the first part.
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12:48AM on 11/24/2015
I love the film but I agree that once waltz kills Leo the film is over
I love the film but I agree that once waltz kills Leo the film is over
1:17AM on 11/24/2015
Great analysis.
Great analysis.
+6
6:28PM on 11/23/2015
He turned it down because Jaden wasn't cast as Schultz.
He turned it down because Jaden wasn't cast as Schultz.
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6:07PM on 11/23/2015

Shut up Will Smith!

You wanted the "lead" role which is exactly what Django was, Waltz just got all the attention because he's an exceptional actor. If Smith knew anything about a story, it's not necessary for the main character to kill the villain. On top of that, he wanted it to be a love story? I am so glad Tarantino stood his ground and didn't change his film just to get Smith involved. This does worry me about Suicide Squad now because I'm sure Deadshot is going to have a big role and it will likely involve a
You wanted the "lead" role which is exactly what Django was, Waltz just got all the attention because he's an exceptional actor. If Smith knew anything about a story, it's not necessary for the main character to kill the villain. On top of that, he wanted it to be a love story? I am so glad Tarantino stood his ground and didn't change his film just to get Smith involved. This does worry me about Suicide Squad now because I'm sure Deadshot is going to have a big role and it will likely involve a love story between him and someone else (Harley).
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5:57PM on 11/23/2015

He made a mistake. Period.

He played it safe as usual, the story of Django was too controversial for him... Instead he went on to star in Men In Black 3 and After Earth... Men In Black 3 is the lowest grossing out of that trilogy domestically and it made money internationally because it's riding on the coattails of the previous installments... After Earth, Focus, Winter's Tale... have all flopped... He hasn't been in a real hit since Hancock 8 years ago, he really needed to be in Django, and I'm sure that if he had
He played it safe as usual, the story of Django was too controversial for him... Instead he went on to star in Men In Black 3 and After Earth... Men In Black 3 is the lowest grossing out of that trilogy domestically and it made money internationally because it's riding on the coattails of the previous installments... After Earth, Focus, Winter's Tale... have all flopped... He hasn't been in a real hit since Hancock 8 years ago, he really needed to be in Django, and I'm sure that if he had "known" that it was going to be an Academy Award nominated movie and praised, he would have been a part of it even if it wasn't the lead... he's not the lead on Winter's Tale nor on Suicide Squad.
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5:51PM on 11/23/2015
Why is it so trendy these days to hate Will Smith?
Why is it so trendy these days to hate Will Smith?
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8:26PM on 11/23/2015
b/c he forced Jaden on us
b/c he forced Jaden on us
5:32PM on 11/23/2015
I actually think what Smith says here makes a kind of sense. For me, the major factor that kept Django Unchained from being a total masterpiece was the love story, or lack thereof. Kerry Washington's character is Django's motivation in the film, and yet, I never really believed their love, their relationship. I'm not saying Tarantino should have changed anything, but I think I get where Smith is coming from.
I actually think what Smith says here makes a kind of sense. For me, the major factor that kept Django Unchained from being a total masterpiece was the love story, or lack thereof. Kerry Washington's character is Django's motivation in the film, and yet, I never really believed their love, their relationship. I'm not saying Tarantino should have changed anything, but I think I get where Smith is coming from.
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+3
5:15PM on 11/23/2015
I bought his story. Also, the Hollywood Reporter Roundtable this snippet came from is pretty incredible. Will Smith, Michael Caine, Joel Edgerton, Benicio Del Toro, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L Jackson all around a table just shooting the shit, discussing their craft. Really insightful.
I bought his story. Also, the Hollywood Reporter Roundtable this snippet came from is pretty incredible. Will Smith, Michael Caine, Joel Edgerton, Benicio Del Toro, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L Jackson all around a table just shooting the shit, discussing their craft. Really insightful.
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5:14PM on 11/23/2015
This guy's an idiot. Plain and simple.
This guy's an idiot. Plain and simple.
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