While it had been believed that Samuel L. Jackson was attached to star in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained for some time, Variety says he has now officially signed on. The trade also says that Gerald McRaney ("Deadwood," "Major Dad") is on board.
The two join a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Kevin Costner. Jackson will play Stephen, a house slave and the right-hand man of a sadistic slavemaster. The trade did not mention which role McRaney would play.
In Tarantino's new film, the title character Django (Foxx) is a freed slave, who under the tutelage of a German bounty hunter (Waltz) becomes a badass bounty hunter himself. After assisting Waltz on taking down some bad guys for profit, he is in turn assisted by Waltz in tracking down his slave wife and liberating her from an evil plantation owner (DiCaprio).
Filming will start soon in New Orleans for a December 25, 2012 release.