Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western, Django Unchained, has lost yet another cast member in the form of Without A Trace star Anthony LaPaglia. He was forced to leave the ‘out of control’ production after constantly changing shooting schedules clashed with his commitment to Robert Connolly’s Julian Assange film, Underground.
LaPaglia, talking to Australian site News, said the following regarding the hectic filming:
“The production was just out of control, over-budget, it was everywhere. I had to formally withdraw. They recast it and they still haven’t shot anything. I could have said nothing and just hung out, I could be there shooting it now [...]The people at ‘Django,’ their attitude more or less was, ‘Just dump the other film,’ but I couldn’t do it out of respect to Rob Connolly, out of respect to the material, out of respect to the commitment I’d made,”
LaPaglia had previously worked with Connolly on Balibo and it was his name that had managed to raise the financing for Underground. Not wanting his colleagues’ film to collapse without his involvement, leaving Django Unchained seemed like the right thing to do.
LaPaglia won’t leave too great a dent in the film as his character was only a very small supporting role. He would have played one half of a pair of mean brothers (the other originally Joseph Gordon-Levitt before he too had to drop out), a role which only fills 12 pages of the script.
LaPaglia and Gordon-Levitt are not the only cast members who have had to leave the production for various reasons. Kevin Costner, Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russell all were initially on board but have now had to bow out. Furthermore, Jonah Hill originally turned down a role before returning to play a different character.
Regardless of all this, the remaining cast is still pretty impressive, featuring the likes of Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz and, of course, Samuel L. Jackson. The trailer also looks very promising.
So, despite all of these production hiccups, as long as Tarantino manages to keep a grip on his remaining cast we could still be in for a real treat come Christmas when Django Unchained rides into theatres.