After Kurt Russell unexpectedly dropped out of Django Unchained halfway through filming, we wondered how Quentin Tarantino was going to find a replacement on such short notice. According to Ain’t It Cool News, there isn’t going to be a direct replacement. Instead, Tarantino has opted to rewrite the script and remove the Ace Woody character entirely.
So where does Walton Goggins fit into all of this? Goggins already plays a minor role in the film as character Billy Crash. As part of the rewrite, the Ace Woody character will be merged with the Billy Crash character, turning Goggins’ minor role into a major one. The merge makes sense, as both characters are villainous SOBs and there is some overlap between the two.
There is still no word on why Kurt Russell left the film. Ain’t It Cool News claims that while reasons behind his departure are being kept secret, there was no drama behind it and that “Tarantino quickly readjusted.”
Overall, this is satisfying news. Any fan of The Shield and Justified will confirm that Goggins knows how to play sick bastards very, very well. He has no problems playing controversial, racist characters, and will certainly take the Billy Crash character to its fullest potential. His new role is a good fit for him, and hopefully he’ll receive the career boost that he deserves.