After finally getting Samuel L. Jackson to sign on the dotted line for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, it appears as though Kevin Costner has dropped out. Costner, who cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for leaving, was tapped to play Ace Woody, a man who trains slaves for the public's amusement and right-hand man to Leonardo DiCaprio's character. Although he never fully signed on for the role, his departure means that Tarantino is now forced to recast the character. 

The veteran actor is currently filming Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, as Jonathan "Pa" Kent, will also be working on The History Channel miniseries The Hatfields and the McCoys, and will make A Little War of Our Own, which he'll also be directing. All those hustles can possibly be the root of his departure from such a controversial role. It would have been interesting to see how the actor would fare as a vile villain, but Tarantino's take on the Western genre will do fine without Costner.

Django Unchained has been tagged with a Christmas 2012 release and stars Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Gerald McRaney, and Samuel L. Jackson.

[via AceShowBiz]