Leonardo Dicaprio is in negotiations to join Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'.

The 'Inception' star has entered talks to star as evil ranch owner Calvin Candie in the spaghetti western-style film, while Will Smith is now thought to have dropped out of the running to play slave Django.

Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker are now in contention to take on the titular role, Deadline.com reports.

Leonardo's character would play the "charming but ruthless" owner of club Candyland, where female slaves are sex objects and the men are forced to fight to the death.

Christoph Waltz - who worked for eccentric director Quentin on 'Inglorious Basterds' - is expected to play a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter who teaches Django how to escape a live of slavery successfully.

Quentin's script for the movie was given to The Weinstein Company in late April, but it is not yet known when it will be shot.

Three-time Oscar-nominated star Leonardo has a number of projects in the pipeline; as well as starring in 'J. Edgar' as the titular character, he is also set for a role in 'The Great Gatsby' alongside Carey Mulligan.