Will Smith is now the top contender to star in Quentin Tarantino's new movie Django Unchained.

The story centers on a slave in the Old West who teams up with a German bounty hunter to help track down his missing wife. Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz are also said to be circling major parts in this Western.

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Will Smith will play the slave named Django, if he signs on, and it is said that Quentin Tarantino wrote the bounty hunter role with Christoph Waltz in mind. Samuel L. Jackson will likely play the house slave to the villain, Monsieur Calvin Candie.

Quentin Tarantino will direct from his own original screenplay, and it is believed shooting may start as early as this fall, possibly in Louisiana. The Weinstein Company has already locked up domestic distribution rights, although the director is currently taking meetings to find an international distributor. Quentin Tarantino is meeting with Universal today, and similar meetings have been lined up with Warner Bros., Sony, and Paramount.