The possibility of a Leonardo DiCaprio and Quentin Tarantino collaboration has just inched that much closer to reality. Official word has surfaced announcing that the award-winning actor is in negotiations to play the role of villainous ranch owner Calvin Candie in Django Unchained.

We reported the initial rumor last week and, now that talks are about to get underway, all eyes are anticipating the Inception star to step into the charming but ruthless boots of the chief antagonist in Tarantino's Spaghetti Western. Although Candie is a slave's worst nightmare, he doesn't appear on-screen until about sixty pages into the script, when he's introduced as the ruthless proprietor of Candyland, a contemptible club and plantation mix in Mississippi where female slaves are sex objects and the men are made to fight in "mandingo"-style death matches.

But who will face the evil slavemaster and his house lapdog (set to be played by Samuel L. Jackson) in battle? Will Smith has apparently dropped out of the running to play the freed slave Django and talk has shifted to potentials such as Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx, and Chris Tucker to take on the titular role of Django. Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar for his work as Hans Landa in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, joins the side of good as a German bounty hunter who trains Django and helps him find his wife.

Who do you have the smart money on to play Quentin Tarantino's hero?

[Via Deadline]