Will Smith on the Real Reason Why He Turned Down ‘Django Unchained’
Quentin Tarantino wrote 'Django Unchained' with Will Smith in mind to star and Smith was the first actor Tarantino approached with the script. So why didn't Will Smith star in the film? We've heard previously from Smith who said he had some "issues" with the script but never heard what those issues were. Now the actor has explained and, well, at least he's being honest.
Smith spoke to Entertainment Weekly to promote his summer sci-fi film 'After Earth' and the conversation eventually came around to 'Django Unchained' and why the actor decided to pass on the film. He explains:
Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character [Dr. King Schultz] was the lead! I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!'
We even heard from sources close to the 'Django' production that Smith suggested that Akiva Goldsman - writer of 'I Am Legend' and frequent Will Smith collaborator - rewrite Tarantino's script. Keep in mind that Quentin Tarantino won the Oscar for the 'Django Unchained' script and Will Smith wanted the writer of 'Batman & Robin' to rewrite it.
Also, it's worth noting that while Christoph Waltz did win an Oscar for his portrayal of Dr. Schultz, it was a Best Supporting Actor award so we're not sure why Smith had his panties in a bunch over not being the lead. In the version we saw, Django was the titular character, killed plenty of bad guys and was certainly the lead of the movie.
Maybe Smith was then and is now just making excuses as he adds, "Just not for me." We couldn't agree more.