Kurt Russell replaces Kevin Costner in Django Unchained

Kill Bill actress Laura Cayouette also signs on

We were more than a little disappointed when Kevin Costner left Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained a couple of weeks ago, but QT has recast someone even more awesome in the role: Kurt Russell.

Yep, the former child actor and all-round '80s icon will be playing Ace, a cruel SOB who runs Calvin Candie's (Leonardo DiCaprio) plantation with an iron fist, making the lives of the slaves unbearable.

This isn't the first time Russell has stepped up to the plate for QT; he also replaced Mickey Rourke in Death Proof at the 11th hour and, in doing so, bagged one of his most badass roles in ages.

With Ace, it sounds like Tarantino is going to exploit that side of Russell again, and we can't bloody wait to see the results.

In related news, Laura Cayoutte, who played Rocket in Kill Bill: Vol. 2, has signed on to play Candie's sister and plantation co-owner.

For anyone who hasn't been following the development of Django with a religious fervour, Tarantino's take on the spaghetti western sees slave Django (Jamie Foxx) team up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his enslaved wife from Candie.

The film is set to open in the US on Christmas Day 2012.

Are you now feeling kinda glad that Costner left so Russell could step in? Drop your comments below...

Comments

    • Toursiveu

      Oct 1st 2011, 9:57

      Great news about Kurt Russell, good idea swapping one former Wyatt Earp for another! Is the great Franco Nero still supposed to be in this? I mean, it would be rude to make a movie called "Django Unchained" and not have the original Django make a cameo! I know when the film was first announced, Nero, Treat Williams and Keith Carradine were mentioned as possible cast members... I hope they'll be in it, especially Nero who gets better with age!

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    • Ali1748

      Oct 1st 2011, 13:54

      Sweet, I should have seen this coming.

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    • MadMatt

      Oct 1st 2011, 15:17

      Must admit, I'm still disappointed that Costner won't be doing this; it would have been wonderful to see him turn his Western persona on its head, and he's a far better actor than he's given credit for (watch the director's cut of JFK, for a start). I hope he doesn't regret this, and that Tarantino will still want to work with him on something else in the future. Still, Kurt Russell is dependably brilliant in everything he appears in, even the underwhelming Death Proof, so it's a welcome relief that QT went with him rather than Danny McBride!!

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    • joker16

      Oct 1st 2011, 16:32

      @MadMatt Death Proof was not underwhelming.

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    • MorganRoss

      Oct 1st 2011, 17:47

      Kurt Russell in another western playing a badass, this film is getting better and better!

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    • anant

      Oct 1st 2011, 18:22

      would have loved to see Costner in this. QT and him would have been totally awesome, but Russell again as a bad guy with QT is equally awesome. Thank heavens its not Mcbride. And agree with Ali should have seen this coming! Boy every patent QT is in this one Russell, Jackson and the new favorite Waltz, just loving the guy more and more. Really missing Madsen, Roth and Keitel, but one can't have everything!

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    • FBJBrown22

      Oct 1st 2011, 23:14

      @Joker16, your right Death Proof wasn't underwhelming it was s**t!

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    • MadMatt

      Oct 2nd 2011, 2:44

      @FBJBrown22 - Ha! Good to know I'm not the only one baffled by some of the praise that movie received...

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    • joker16

      Oct 2nd 2011, 6:03

      @MadMatt & FBJBrown22, If you wouldn't mind, please provide a detailed and specific argument for why Death Proof is a bad movie, and that's assuming you are both QT fans. If you're not, then it's an entirely different matter. It's easy to call Death Proof s**t, because everyone else does it. But nobody seems to be able to state exactly why it's a bad movie. If you don't like most of Tarantino's films then it's understandable why you might not like Death Proof. But if you are a fan, why does it suck? You certainly can't complain about the fact that most of the film features characters sitting around talking because that's EVERY QT film with the exception of Kill Bill Vol. I. QT's riveting and humorous dialogue is what any QT fan wants to hear. Death Proof has also got that classic Tarantino violence so you can't complain about it laking that. Death Proof, like all of QT's film, has a great soundtrack as well. Add to that a great performance from Kurt Russell and one of the greatest chase sequences ever filmed and you've got a GREAT movie. So just to wrap up: classic QT dialogue? Check. Graphic bloody violence? Check. Great soundtrack? Check. Awesome chase sequence? Check. Hot chicks? Yep, it's got that too. So, do tell, why is Death Proof such a bad movie?

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    • Goodland

      Oct 2nd 2011, 9:35

      I think the problem with Death Proof is exactly that list you offer there - you can't just assemble a narrative from a checklist of Tarrantino-isms. Besides, Reservoir Dogs doesn't have "hot chicks" or "Graphic bloody (onscreen) violence" - certainly not to the same degree. On that basis, does that make Death Proof better than Reservoir Dogs? Yeah, that's a rhetorical question - don't bother answering that one... The problem with Death Proof is that it is an assembly of qualities that he feels his films should have but none of it sticks in the mind or fits together into a particularly effective story. The dialogue - well, I know plenty of people who sit around and talk a lot but that doesn't mean it's worth listening to. It's telling that I'm seriously struggling to remember what any of them were talking about - it's all rambling nonsense presented in a very self-consciously cool way. None of it furthers the narrative or engages in any way. I agree with you about Kurt Russell - he is the saving grace for the film. He stops it being a one star disaster. It is just a shame that QT decides to undermine him so badly at the end - turning him into a crying wimp. Having said that, the girls are all really forgettable "hotties" - having them dress up in various fetching ways and then murdered brutally invites guffaws at QT's claims of feminism. The narrative is the big sticking point. It is a film on a loop. The first half is the stronger, with a slow build up. You kind of ignore the c**p dialogue and the uninteresting characters (I mean the moral dilemmas of Mia and Vincent, Mr.White and Mr.Orange felt important and engaging - I feel sorry for the actresses here: what were they given to do? What directions? "OK, OK, you be sassy... you, you I want to be sassy... um, OK you can be sassy too...") and it's tolerable... but then the film starts again! There's no real progression between the two sections - it would have made far more sense for the second set of girls to be seeking revenge for the murder of one of their sisters or friends... but no... they just wander in and treat it like a game. I know the argument is that it's a homage to B-movies and so forth. But I remember a critic's comment on Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: "It seems strange to spoof dreadful films by making a dreadful film" - I agreed then and I think it applies to QT's 'homage' here.

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    • writerdave87

      Oct 2nd 2011, 11:32

      I agree with most of what Goodland says, but I thought the revealing Stuntman Mike's true cowardice (when his victims actually catch him outside of his car) worked really well. And that car chase at the end when she's on the roof is one of my favourite car chases in any film, I didn't like most of the film but from the first car crash it does improve quite a lot.

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    • joker16

      Oct 2nd 2011, 21:18

      @Goodland, I'll try to respond without writing an essay. So when it comes to the dialogue in Death Proof you're saying that you found it meaningless, trivial and forgettable. Well, with respect, you can say the exact same thing about many of the scenes in any given QT film. And many critics who dislike Tarantino have. They feel the pop culture dialogue he injects into his films are meaningless and that he only does it to appear "cool." But heres the thing, the people who say that, say it about ALL of his films, not just Death Proof. And you seem to be picking and choosing when you feel those seemingly "pointless" conversations do and don't work. What about the famous "Like a Virgin" discussion "furthered the story along"? Nothing! It's just really interesting and original. The same could be said about the Nazi SS soldier who thinks King Kong was a metaphor for the black slave trade. What the hell does that have to do with the story or the characters in Inglourious Basterds? NOTHING!!!! It's just really fascinating to listen to. And I mean I could go on and on. Why is it necessary for us to know why Kim carries a gun? It's not! But it's f u c k i n g funny to hear her say that she likes to do her laundry in the middle of the night and if she does that often enough she "might get her a*s raped." And when Lee asks her why she doesn't just carry mace she responds with "If a m u t h a f u c k a tries to rape me, I don't want to give him a skin rash, I wanta shut that n i g g a down." I'm sorry dude but that s h i t is just funny. It's obvious that you don't think so but there's really nothing I or Mr. Tarantino can do about that. So to wrap the dialogue portion of the discussion, you think it's boring and meaningless, I find it interesting and humorous. Not only is it funny, but it tells us something about the characters which makes them individuals instead of card board cutouts which 90% of the screenplays out there feature. I can see I'm failing in my attempt to not write an essay. Now then, as far as your criticism of the character of Stuntman Mike is concerned I think Writerdave87 articulated my feelings sufficiently. As far as the swipe you made contradicting the notion that Death Proof has feminist undertones, I disagree. The 1st group of women are the cliched "sexy bubble heads" we've seen depicted in endless horror films and yes they are murdered brutally. But here's where QT steps in to inject his originality. The second group of women are very strong characters, Kim & Zoe in particular. Not only do they kick the s**t out of Mike but they enjoy it. Now the fact that they do enjoy it is key. Men are always allowed to enjoy revenge and violence in movies but rarely are females. When a women has to commit an act of revenge it's usually depicted as a very dark and disturbing act. So QT's going "why do the guys get to have all the fun?" So there! Now I kinda covered your other criticism of the narrative structure of Death Proof in my pervious point, but just to reiterate. The 1st part of Proof is what we have all become accustom to, the second part flips the genre on its head and that's where the brilliance lies. The French critics understood this. The last quote you included could almost make sense if you changed the last bit "It seems strange to spoof dreadful films by making an excellent film." now that would make sense. When I first saw Death Proof I found it ironic that here QT is trying to pay homage to awful grindhouse movies of the 70's and yet he seems incapable of making a bad movie. I wish I could say the same for Robert Rodriguez. A.O. Scott of the New York Times agrees with me by the way.

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    • Goodland

      Oct 2nd 2011, 22:25

      I tip my cap to you Joker16. Valid points. But that's the beauty of marmite movies - and why it's more fun to like them than standard classics (how tiresome is it when celebs giev their fave films and have clearly thought about what is acceptable?). For my sins I would willingly write mini-essay after mini-essay defending Last Action Hero and Alien 3. Re: Death Proof - as I say, I liked Kurt Russell.... and I'm happy to see him sign on for Django Unchained... but, maybe it's a matter of taste rather than a failing as such, but I felt the end undermined him. Maybe a reaction to it being so completely out of character for Kurt Russell rather than being inappropriate for the character - but it still didn't seem to fit for me. I was prob unfair putting that as a criticism as it was a valid choice, just one I did not like. I know your point with the way critics view his dialogue - but I do still feel discussions like tipping etc gave an insight into the character, the way that Pink would go on to behave. As does the ramblings about the phone book in the same scene. They feel like normal guys, grounding them before we can be shocked by their extreme behaviour. The conversation you mention from Death Proof just spells out that the character is Sassy, managing to make a joke out of rape and start dropping the N-word unnecessarily. I'm afraid I stand by Spike Lee on that one - but, most importantly, I gained nothing from having to listen to it. Like I say, marmite movies - one person gets it, another does not. Fully respect that. It does all sound like I'm hating too much but I love pretty much all his other films - and Inglourious Basterds shows how he can make B-movie schlock into art. I was drawn in by the story, shocked by the shaded morality of both sides and saddened when any of them died. When the first set of girls died in Death Proof, I just thought it was a well-staged crash. Anyhoo, as I say, an interesting debate. Makes me want to give it another watch.

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    • joker16

      Oct 2nd 2011, 22:43

      @Goodland, Some movies work better the second time. Like Drive. Thought it was good the 1st time. F u c k i n g loved it the second time. As much as I hate to do it, I feel I must call out Spike Lee on his overt hypocrisy. What he's saying is that basically any black filmmaker can use it but the minute a white person does it its racism. Which is total b u l l s h i t! And I mean come on! His films are filled with the pervasive use of the word n****r. But he's black so I guess it's totally fine.

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    • writerdave87

      Oct 2nd 2011, 23:30

      Samuel L Jackson's defence of Tarantino and criticism of Lee over Lee's attacks on QT for using the N word is well worth a read, trying to find the full length speech. Joker's elaborated why I both like or dislike Death Proof better than I could, but damn this is what this site should be about. Not what teenager some moron wants to see naked...

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    • joker16

      Oct 3rd 2011, 1:20

      @writerdave87, Haha, priceless writerdave, you never fail to get a good clean jab at Dalidab.

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    • writerdave87

      Oct 3rd 2011, 1:46

      Don't know what you mean, I was speaking hypothetically :p

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    • joker16

      Oct 3rd 2011, 2:02

      Of course ;)

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    • Ali1748

      Oct 3rd 2011, 5:37

      Death Proof is easily QT's weakest movie. This news has put me in the mood to watch Tombstone again.

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    • writerdave87

      Oct 3rd 2011, 9:56

      Since when? Seriously, you've never been able to take a joke. I'm not even actually joking.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Oct 3rd 2011, 14:50

      I would've liked to have seen the original cut of Grindhouse. I thought that Death Proof could've worked as an hour long segment but trying to make it fill another 40 minutes seemed pointless to me. The same goes for Planet Terror, really enjoyed it but on repeated viewings it's just too long and repetitive. Whatever side of the fence you're on about QT, it's great that there is a director out there who does split audiences like he does.

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    • stonedjohn

      Oct 4th 2011, 15:16

      Don't normally comment but as I love Qt I feel I have to - completely understand the criticisms of Death Proof. I do love it (attending the Irish premiere and not being to far from the man himself may have biased my opinion somewhat), but have to agree that its the weakest of his films - but to say "Death Proof is my weakest film" is no bad thing considering its still awesome! Gutted about Mr Costner - he did deserve a bit of a career revival but maybe Man of Steel will be enough for that. Just keep Leo on the cast as that bit of news really got me excited about this film (well, slightly more excited than I was shall we say).

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