Kurt Russell replaces Kevin Costner in Django Unchained

We were more than a little disappointed when Kevin Costner left Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained a couple of weeks ago, but QT has recast someone even more awesome in the role: Kurt Russell.

Yep, the former child actor and all-round '80s icon will be playing Ace, a cruel SOB who runs Calvin Candie's (Leonardo DiCaprio) plantation with an iron fist, making the lives of the slaves unbearable.

This isn't the first time Russell has stepped up to the plate for QT; he also replaced Mickey Rourke in Death Proof at the 11th hour and, in doing so, bagged one of his most badass roles in ages.

With Ace, it sounds like Tarantino is going to exploit that side of Russell again, and we can't bloody wait to see the results.

In related news , Laura Cayoutte, who played Rocket in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 , has signed on to play Candie's sister and plantation co-owner.

For anyone who hasn't been following the development of Django with a religious fervour, Tarantino's take on the spaghetti western sees slave Django (Jamie Foxx) team up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his enslaved wife from Candie.

The film is set to open in the US on Christmas Day 2012.

Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.