September 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT

Quentin Tarantino

TV Show
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In Season

Kevin Costner has dropped out of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming spaghetti Western-cum-period-slavery-picture Django Unchained, EW has confirmed. His role as Jonathan Kent (Clark Kent’s human father) in Man of Steel, and his upcoming History miniseries The Hatfields and McCoys, meant Costner’s schedule became too crowded. (Deadline first reported the story.)

Costner had been cast as Ace Woody, a ruthless trainer of male slaves pitted against each other gladiator-style in a ranch owned by the main villain, Calvin Candie, to be played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Jamie Foxx will play the title character, a former slave whose wife is Calvin’s captive. Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson round out the cast.

No word yet on who will replace Costner.

UPDATE: Kurt Russell is in talks to take on the role.

Read more:

Quentin Tarantino signs Samuel L. Jackson for ‘Django Unchained’

Jamie Foxx in talks for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’

‘Django Unchained’ gets Christmas 2012 release date

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