Will Smith Turned Down ‘Django Unchained’, Here’s Why

The Fresh Prince reveals why he passed on the hit Tarantino film.

While the titular Django from Django Unchained has become an iconic role for Jamie Foxx, the character was originally to be played by none other than Will Smith.

Now after three years, Smith has finally revealed why he turned down the role.

During The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Actor Roundtable, Smith, who will star in the upcoming drama Concussion, explained that creative differences kept him from suiting up as Django.

“It was about the creative direction of the story,” Smith explained. “To me, it’s as perfect a story as you could ever want: a guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave. That idea is perfect. And it was just that Quentin and I couldn’t see [eye to eye].”

Smith also adamantly expressed his desire to star in the film, having even met with director Quentin Tarantino multiple times. However, he disagreed with Tarantino’s signature violence.

“I wanted to make that movie so badly, but I felt the only way was, it had to be a love story, not a vengeance story,” Smith remarked.

Django_Unchained_Jamie_Foxx
Jamie Foxx as Django

Smith then commented on the recent attacks on Paris, explaining how a situation like that needs to be handled without a violent response.

“Violence begets violence. I just couldn’t connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer.”

Even with its themes of vengeance and violence, Django Unchained was a critical and commercial success, drawing in $425.4 million worldwide.

Smith’s explanation finally clears up prior questioning as to why he dropped out of Django. It was speculated up until this point that Smith’s commitment to After Earth was the reason he couldn’t star in the film.

You all remember After Earth, right? That classic father-son adventure film? Directed by M. Night Shyamalan? 

Nevermind.

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