Actor Will Smith attends the 'Men In Black 3' New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on May 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Director Quentin Tarantino of the upcoming film Django Unchained originally wrote the script with actor Will Smith in mind for the title actor. Last spring Smith was informally offered the role, but had to decline because of his time commitment to the film Men In Black 3. “I came really close, it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever ever seen,” Smith said. “I was in the middle of Men In Black 3 and [Tarantino] was ready to go, and I just couldn’t sit with him and get through the issues, so I didn’t want to hold him up. That thing’s going to be ridiculous. It is a genius screenplay.” The Huffington Post has the story:

Will Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio going head-to-head in “Django Unchained”? It almost happened.

Director Quentin Tarantino wrote the title role of Django with Smith in mind, and the actor was informally offered the part last spring. Smith eventually passed — Jamie Foxx was hired instead — and now, for the first time, the “Men In Black 3” actor is explaining why he turned down the part.

In an interview with Empire (via The Playlist), Smith said that his time commitments to the “Men In Black” franchise forced him to bow out.

Click here for the full story.