By Adam B. Vary
Updated September 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Looks like Kurt Russell’s ready to play the heavy for Quentin Tarantino for the second time. EW has confirmed that the 60-year-old actor is in talks to take on the role of Ace Woody in Tarantino’s period slavery spaghetti Western Django Unchained, a role that Kevin Costner was set to play until he dropped out earlier this week.(TheWrap first reported the story.)

In the film, Ace works for Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a cruel slaveowner who pits his male slaves, trained by Ace, against each other for sport, and forces his female slaves to work as prostitutes. Jamie Foxx will play the titular Django, a slave-turned-bounty-hunter whose (as yet uncast) wife is being held captive by Candie. Samuel L. Jackson will play Candie’s plantation manager, and Christoph Waltz a German bounty hunter who comes to the aid of Django. (Waltz recently injured himself training for the film, but is expected to make a full recovery.)

Russell last worked with Tarantino in 2007’s Death Proof — part of the Grindhouse double-feature — as the sociopathic killer Stuntman Mike.

Django Unchained is due to start filming this January.

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