We confess to being pleasantly surprised when Kevin Costner was cast in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained as one of the villains responsible for training slaves to be vicious “mandingo” fighters. Tarantino has a way of bringing out the best in actors, especially ones that haven’t been burning up the box office. Costner has always been likable on screen and the notion of him playing against type as a baddie sounded too good to be true. Apparently, it was. Variety’s Justin Kroll reports that Costner has been forced to pass due to scheduling conflicts, presumably because of his commitments to the History Channel miniseries Hatfields and McCoys and his directorial effort A Little War of Our Own. Or maybe it’s because he just realized he was playing the role of a vicious slave trainer.
Either way, Tarantino has to find another actor, presumably similar to Costner — like say, Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, or John Travolta — to round out a cast that already includes Jamie Foxx, Leo DiCaprio, Sam Jackson, and Christoph Waltz. We’re pushing for Travolta just to see him chew scenery. Let us know who you think Tarantino should cast in the comments. [via AV Club]