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Casting rumours: Will Smith for Tarantino, Keanu Reeves for Akira

Will Smith

Story by Jack Foley

A GREAT deal of speculation always surrounds the casting for any big new movie and we’re often torn between reporting the ‘in talks’ news with genuine declarations of fact.

But two new stories have captured our interest, so we’re going to write about them anyway!

First up is the latest on Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming spaghetti western, Django Unchained, which apparently has Will Smith in its sights as leading man.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Smith is a front-runner to take the leading role of a slave in the Old South who teams up with a German bounty hunter to search for his wife.

THR also reports that Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz are circling key parts.

But the big news concerns Smith, with reports suggesting that Tarantino would like Smith to star in the film.

No offer has been made, but with the script reportedly having been met with wide acclaim, the stage would appear to be set for Smith to make his first big screen appearance since 2008’s Seven Pounds

If successful, he would play Django, a freed slave who seeks to reunite with his slave wife by teaming up with a German bounty hunter to take down an evil plantation owner.

Waltz would play the bounty hunter, while Jackson would play the house slave to the bad guy, Monsieur Calvin Candie.

The latest report suggests the script is now with Smith’s people and being considered strongly.

Henry's Crime

The second casting rumour to get us interested concerns Keanu Reeves and a link to Albert Hughes’s live action, English language take on Manga hit Akira.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Reeves has had talks to play Kaneda, the gang leader.

Reeves doesn’t yet have an offer for the role, but the insider rumour mill suggests that talks are ‘going well’.

And if successful, Reeves presence would enable Hughes to offer another A-lister the role of Tetsuo, the best friend.

Hughes’s film would move the action from Neon-Tokyo to New Manhattan and would follow a biker gang leader as he tries to save his best friend from a medical experiment that threatens to unleash destructive powers.

Reeves is currently completing 47 Ronin. Read our interview

Next story: Schwarzenegger picks Cry Macho for big screen comeback