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Outspoken filmmaker Quentin Tarantino planned on auditioning almost every eligible black male actor in Hollywood for the lead role in his highly-anticipated new film Django Unchained.

Although he eventually settled on Academy-Award-winner Jamie Foxx, he’s made no secret that he talked to several other stars about playing the title role, including A-lister Will Smith and character actor Michael K. Williams.

Tarantino told Playboy magazine he ultimately chose Foxx for the role because “he was the cowboy.”

“We sat there talking, and I realized, ‘Wow, if this were the 1960s and I was casting a Django western TV show…’ and they had black guys as stars of those in the 1960s, I could see Jamie on one of those. And that’s what I was looking for, a Clint Eastwood,” said Tarantino.

Check out this slideshow of the stars who nearly got to ride in the saddle as the movie‘s hero.