TheWrap bring word that Kurt Russell is in talks to play the the villainous Ace Wood in Quentin Tarantino’s next film ‘Django Unchained,’ a Sergio Leone inspired spaghetti Western about a slave in the Old South who teams with a German bounty hunter to search for his wife. Ace Wood is a sadistic trainer of the male fighting slaves who entertain the white patrons of Candyland as well as the female slaves who are forced to be prostitutes. Kevin Costner had to vacate the role because of an apparent scheduling conflict. Russell and Tarantino have worked together before, on 2007’s ‘Death Proof,’ in which he played an over-the-hill Hollywood stunt double named “Stuntman” Mike.

Jamie Foxx has signed up to play the title role of Django, a slave who is liberated and taught the tricks of the trade by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter – played by Christoph Waltz. Tarantino regular Samuel L. Jackson will play the role of Rodney, Calvin Candie’s valet who keeps the slaves in line at Candie’s residence. The slave is an expert manipulator and will face off with Django. Calvin Candie, the lead villain, will be played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

‘Django Unchained’ will pay homage to the Sergio Corbucci original ‘Django,’ Takashi Miike’s ‘Sukiyaki Western Django,’ which features Tarantino, and Elmore Leonard’s novel ’40 Lashes Less One.’ My hopes are ridiculously high for this film! Tarantino + spaghetti western = YES PLEASE! The film has been set for a Christmas Day 2012 release date by the Weinstein Company.