Will Smith Explains Django Unchained Snub

The actor explains why "issues" with the screenplay lead to his withdrawal from Tarantino's western.

Superstar Will Smith, the most bankable actor working today and the man who recently chose to end a four year absence from movie screens to star in Men in Black 3, has now shed a little bit more light on why he turned down the leading role in the next Tarantino movie. According to The Playlist, the former rap idol told Empire Magazine the following:

"I came really close, it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever ever seen. I was in the middle of Men In Black 3 and was ready to go, and I just couldn't sit with him and get through the issues, so I didn't want to hold him up. That thing's going to be ridiculous. It is a genius screenplay."

Well, if you're in the middle of Men in Black 3, Will! At this stage it looks like the only way we'll see Smith in a cowboy hat again is if he makes a 3D sequel to Wild Wild West. We can but dream. Questions abound about the nature of his "issues" with the "genius" screenplay, though we can probably take an educated guess that Smith - a man who has repeatedly stated an ambition to one day run for high political office - was nervous about the potential harm appearing in such a violent and sweary movie might do to his reputation, let alone his mainstream leading man status. Smith's comments come as the new international trailer breaks for Quentin Tarantino's slavery revenge western Django Unchained, which now stars Jamie Foxx in the leading role alongside Inglorious Bastards Oscar winner Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio - in a rare bad guy role. Check it out below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POBHfnUGMYs In other news, the same publication has quoted Smith as rejecting the offer to be involved with I Am Legend 2 - though the film is apparently in development, having been a substantial money-maker for Warner Bros. back in 2008.
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A regular film and video games contributor for What Culture, Robert also writes reviews and features for The Daily Telegraph, GamesIndustry.biz and The Big Picture Magazine as well as his own Beames on Film blog. He also has essays and reviews in a number of upcoming books by Intellect.