After months of courting, Quentin Tarantino has finally roped Don Johnson for Django Unchained, the director's next romp in the genre sandbox.
The former star of TV's Miami Vice will join Tarantino's upcoming spaghetti western as wealthy, vile plantation owner Spencer Bennett, who may or may not force his female slaves into prostitution and his male slaves into Mandingo-style death matches as Leonardo DiCaprio's character does — but, if we're lucky, Johnson's Bennett will definitely bedeck himself in pastel leisure suits with rolled-up sleeves. (Editor's note: Young people, that's funny because those are the clothes that Johnson wore as Sonny Crockett on Miami Vice when you were just a toddler playing in your standard-issue sandbox.)
Boy, Johnson is making quite a name for himself these days playing hateful character roles. He was last seen on the big screen starring as a loathsome, racist sheriff in Machete, Robert Rodriguez's grindhouse homage. (Editor's note: Actually, Johnson was last seen in Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star…which no one saw, so he really wasn't "seen" in that.)
In Django Unchained, Johnson joins a first-rate cast that includes DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Laura Cayouette and the recently added Kurt Russell, who replaced Kevin Costner in the role of evil slave trainer Ace Woody. You might remember Russell as the kid who kicks Elvis in the shins in 1963's It Happened at the World's Fair, or perhaps you remember him as the nerdy Dexter from Disney's 1969 laugh riot The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. But it's more likely (and more relevant) that you remember him as the murderous Stuntman Mike from Tarantino's grindhouse homage, Death Proof.
It should be noted that Johnson's Django Unchained co-star Jamie Foxx appeared in the 2006 Miami Vice movie as the Tubbs to Colin Farrell's Crockett, which I'm sure Tarantino is crowing and talking very quickly about right now. (Editor's note: Hey, QT, wouldn't it be fun if you could get Farrell to do a cameo as a rowdy Irish immigrant whom Foxx, say, meets at a saloon and shares a confused "haven't we met before" look? Think about it…)