Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russell Latest to Depart Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained

Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russell Latest to Depart Quentin Tarantino's Django UnchainedSacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russell are the latest casualties from Quentin Tarantino’s western Django Unchained, joining previously departed Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kevin Costner.

Cohen’s schedule is currently swamped with press rounds for the upcoming release of The Dictator, and felt he didn’t have the time to give to Tarantino for his role. The extent of that role is unknown; however, Cohen did tell Howard Stern it wasn’t much more than a cameo. Whether Tarantino will re-cast the role or write it out is currently unknown.

Russell had stepped in for Costner after the latter dropped out of the Ace Woody role, the right-hand man of villain slave and plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is holding former slave Django’s (Jamie Foxx) wife as a slave. Rumors from the IMDB message boards suggest Russell wasn’t happy with the lack of “western” in the film and left the set for good of his own free will. You can’t always take message board postings as gospel, but this is interesting to note considering no official word has been released citing a reason for Russell’s abrupt exit.

The third time could be the charm as is reporting Walton Goggins has stepped in to fill the void. According to AICN, Goggins’ previously existing Billy Crash character will absorb the lines and role of Ace Woody, thus eliminating Ace from the film altogether. This doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all considering that character’s choppy casting history.

Despite the casting merry-go-round Quentin Tarantino has endured while in production Django Unchained, he’s still packing a lot of star power in his first feature since Inglourious Basterds. Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, RZA, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Gerald McRaney, Don Johnson, Dennis Christopher, Todd Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, RZA, Tom Wopat, James Russo, James Remar, M.C. Gainey and Laura Cayouette are all still present and accounted for on the dusty sets.

Django Unchained seeks justice when it hits theaters on December 25, 2012.

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