Jamie Foxx is a great actor, his performance in Ray proved that many times over, and he will probably be just fine in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained this Christmas.
But the mind boggles at Tarantino's first choice: Will Smith. It would have been a huge departure for Smith for sure, and who knows if it ever could have come together in a million years. Again, the mind boggles.
Smith has said he "came really close," and that "it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever seen," but Smith was in the middle of Men in Black 3, Tarantino was rarin' to go, "and I just couldn't sit with him and get through the issues, so I didn't want to hold him up."
Of course, Tarantino was asked about this at Comic Con, and as Indie Wire and Total Film reports, he's downplaying things considerably. "When I wrote Django, I did not write it for anybody," Tarantino told the audience. "I had no idea who was going to play it. I met with six different actors. [Will Smith] was one of the people that I met with."
Jamie came over to Tarantino's place, he was the last one Tarantino met with, and he finally told everyone else, "I found my Django." "You just know when you meet the guy and I met the guy," Tarantino said. "He just got it, he understood."
What's the truth? Who knows for sure? There were indeed reports last year that Big Willie was the choice and he passed, although Foxx is certainly a good fallback position.
And as we've written before, it's doubtful two huge egos like Smith and Tarantino can work together on a movie. Both have to be the big boy in charge, and Smith isn't going take a backseat to anybody in this regard. But again, the mind does boggle thinking about what Smith could have done with Django.