25 March 2013 7:23 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

From the moment Quentin Tarantino completed his script for his revisionist western masterpiece "Django Unchained," speculation began that the title character, a freed slave-turned-bounty hunter, would go to Will Smith. Tarantino wanted him badly and even signed away the foreign rights to the film to Sony, Smith's frequent home (Universal distributed the hugely successful "Inglourious Basterds" abroad). But Smith passed, opening up a vacuum that would eventually be filled (quite winningly) by Jamie Foxx. The reason that Smith passed always remained vague, but prior commitments to "Men in Black 3" and an uneasiness with the screenplay's content were largely suspected. However Smith, while chatting up his new sci-fi blockbuster "After Earth," spilled the beans to Entertainment Weekly. “Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!” Smith told EW. (While Django is, arguably, not the lead, the movie is named after him, »

- Drew Taylor

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