Django Unchained is currently in production, aiming for a Christmas 2012 release date, but the film hit a snag this past week, as director Quentin Tarantino has lost both Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Sacha Baron Cohen announced his departure on Howard Stern, where the comedian made a rare interview appearance out of character. He was set to take on the small but important role of Scotty, a weak man whose father purchases a female slave for him. That slave is Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), Django's (Jamie Foxx) wife, whom he spends the entire movie trying to save. Cohen had to bail on the role because of his promotional schedule for The Dictator.
No reason was given for Kurt Russell's sudden departure. He was set to play Ace Woody, a sadistic cohort of Leonardo DiCaprio's Calvin Candy, who trains slaves to fight each other to the death. There are rumors that Kurt Russell left because he felt the film wasn't "Western enough". There is also a rumor that the role will not be filled, but cut out of the film all together. Of course, neither of these rumors has been confirmed at this time.
Both actors were replacements themselves. Kevin Costner was originally set to play Ace, but dropped out before production began because of his shooting schedule. Jonah Hill was originally cast as Scotty, but sighted scheduling issues for his bail out as well. Some believe that these two roles are simply far too controversial, and that it's proving hard to find actors committed to preserving what is in the screenplay.
Might we suggest Harvey Keitel for Ace Woody? How about DJ Qualls as Scotty. Both sound like perfect casting to us. What do you think? Who should Quentin Tarantino look to in this last minute of need?