Gold Derby Confirms Christoph Waltz being campaigned as Lead Actor

We spoke about this possibility on a podcast a few weeks back but it seems that a source as confirmed to Tom O’Neil of Gold Derby that Academy Award Winner Christoph Waltz will be campaigned as a lead actor in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Django Unchained.  Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, who plays a slave-turned-bounty hunter that is searching for his wife will compete against Waltz along with the entire roster of the Weinstein Company.

The Weinstein Company, who also has Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, and Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, could wind up with three Lead Actors nominated if everything pans out.  Joaquin Phoenix, the arguable frontrunner, has had recent outbursts around the web about his disdain about Oscar campaigning.  If the Weinsteins feel that a win in Phoenix is not so likely anymore, they could be starting a buzz surrounding Waltz.  Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt are both believed by many pundits to be secondary choices of recognition.  The former probably has the best chance of the two.

The road to Oscar won’t be easy for Waltz as Phoenix, Daniel Day-Lewis of Lincoln, John Hawkes of The Sessions, and Denzel Washington of Flight are all but assured nominations at this early juncture.  Anthony Hopkins who stars in the title role of Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock has started a pool of lovers along with Richard Gere in Arbitrage and Hugh Jackman in the still unseen Les Miserables.  Could Waltz snag his second Oscar in just three years?  That didn’t stop Kevin Spacey which O’Neil cleverly cites as an example.

As we’ve witnessed all season, the Lead Actor race is the most competitive I’ve seen in my years of Oscar prognosticating.  It’s going to be a shame that several performances will be left off in sidelines on the mere notion of not enough inventory.

Comment and discuss.  What do you think of Waltz’s chances?