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Whenever there’s a Western being made somewhere in Hollywood, it’s a sure bet that Kevin Costner wants to be in it. He’s responsible for one of the best westerns of the past decade in Open Range and his obsession with the genre is all but legendary. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that he’s found his way into Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Spaghetti Western, Django Unchained.
What’s more surprising is that Costner is dropping his traditional nice guy persona to be a part of it. Deadline says Quentin has cast him to play against type as a sadistic trainer of male fighting slaves. The slaves entertain the patrons of Candyland, the entertainment venue and den of prostitution around which much of the movie’s plot revolves.
Kevin Costner’s character is called “Ace Woody” and he’s known for killing slaves who don’t measure up to his standards. The movie’s full of really messed up villains, Leonard DiCaprio is playing one in the film too as the owner of Candyland, and both his and Costner’s characters are being positioned as pure evil on the level of Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds. That’s a lot to live up to for an actor like Costner, who’s never really been known for playing villains, and who hasn’t really been cinematically relevant (despite Open Range) in at least ten years. But then Tarantino has a way of resurrecting careers, and it’s easy to imagine him finding something new in Costner that we’ve never seen before.
Jamie Foxx is already set to play the Django lead, as a slave turned bounty hunter who must take on the villains of Candyland in an attempt to rescue his wife from their clutches. Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson round out the rest of the cast, so far.