Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" -- we remind you: Not a biography of classical jazz guitarist Django Reinhart -- has become one of the most anticipated films of next year not just because of its subject matter, but because of its cast. The tale of a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) teaming with a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his wife from an evil plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Stephen, "a house slave and the right-hand man of a sadistic slavemaster" (Samuel L. Jackson). We mean, come on: That's just crazy even to type out. But one of the casting decisions we were most excited about, the one bringing back a man who was briefly the biggest movie star in the world to play a monstrous villain, just got borked.
Kevin Costner, seen above with a truly depressing soul patch, was supposed to play Ace Woody, a "sadistic trainer of the male fighting slaves who entertain the white patrons of Candyland as well as the female slaves who are forced to be prostitutes," according to Deadline. (Lots of sadists in the Tarantino plantation universe.) Costner has slowly worked his way back to relevance, and this could have been his breakthrough. But now he's not doing the movie at all.
It turns out it's just a scheduling issue -- the film starts filming in November -- though we can't imagine anything Costner could be doing that could possibly be more important than co-starring in a Quentin Tarantino movie. (The Playlist speculates that he's busy with Kevin Reynolds' "The Hatfields & The McCoys," which is totally lame.) Costner's still playing Pa Kent in "Man of Steel," but boy, it sure would have been fun to see him go crazy as Ace Woody. So who'd be good for that part now? We would now like to reconvene our Mel Gibson campaign.