Kevin Costner Leaves ‘Django Unchained’

The Dances with Wolves star pulls out of Quentin Tarantino's revisionist western. 

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Unfortunate new for Kevin Costner fans: the Academy Award-winning director and star of Dances with Wolves has reportedly left Quentin Tarantino's production of Django Unchained. Costner appears to be in something of a career resurgence right now, with the high profile role of Pa Kent in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. His supporting turn in Django Unchained would have been yet another feather in the actor's cap, since if there's one thing Tarantino's good at it's rescuing big stars from late-career obscurity. Costner would have played "Ace Woody," the man who trains Leonardo DiCaprio's slaves to fight each other to the death for the amusement of white audiences.

Yeah… That's against type. Would have been interesting.

Justin Kroll from Variety recently tweeted the news (via Collider): "And in another interesting piece of casting news, Kevin Costner has had to pass on DJANGO UNCHAINED due to scheduling conflicts"

We're disappointed, since Costner's a great actor when he's got the right material, and Tarantino is better than most directors at tailoring his scripts to his actors' strengths, even if the rest of Hollywood doesn't see them. It's also likely that this decision has taken him out of the running for an Oscar: the last time a high-profile actor dropped out of a Tarantino project, the director replaced Leonardo DiCaprio with Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds, and got him an Academy Award in the process. He also had to replace Simon Pegg with Michael Fassbender, which raised the actor's visibility considerably.

Then again, he also replaced Adam Sandler in that same film with Eli Roth, a decision that many felt was a mistake. So this might be bad for Tarantino too.

CraveOnline will be back with more Django Unchained casting news after we stop… if we live, shoot!