Yesterday the Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced that Django Unchained maestro Quentin Tarantino will figuratively step in for Django costar Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo had committed to accepting an American Riviera award with a Lobero Theatre chit-chat on Friday, February 1st. Festival publicist Carol Marshall says that DiCaprio was forced to cancel his festival appearance due to being called back for extra shooting on Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street.

DiCaprio was committed to appear until Tuesday night (1/22), Marshall says. So when festival honcho Roger Durling and Marshall heard about the Wolf conflict they started making calls “and Quentin graciously stepped in…this was done literally in less than 24 hours.”

I passed along a presumption this morning that when DiCaprio’s Django performance wasn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actor on 1.10, he decided to ease himself out because what was the point?

As I wrote on the morning of Thursday, 1.10, a few hours after the Oscar nominations were announced, “DiCaprio is receiving the SBIFF’s American Riviera award on February 1st…except he wasn’t nominated this morning either so what’s the shot? The ‘Leo is Leo’ shot, I guess. Leo is Leo and he’s taking the stage.”

Tarantino’s SBIFF event will actually take place on Wednesday, 1.30, which is always a quiet day at the festival. (I usually drive down to LA that day to take care of stuff and then return on Thursday afternoon.)

DiCaprio’s cancellation still leaves a celebrity-appearance gap as far as the festival’s second weekend is concerned. A Jennifer Lawrence “Outstanding Performer of the Year” tribute happens on Saturday, 2.2, but Friday, 2.1, is…what, a do-it-yourselfer?

Hey, Roger — how about scheduling another “Oscar bloggers discuss the Oscar odds” discussion on 2.1? A few of us (myself, Sasha Stone, Pete Hammond, Anne Thompson) did that a couple of years ago at the Santa Barbara Museum and managed to bore everyone to tears. But this is a better year for arguments as we’re witnessing a real Best Picture race this year. I could do my Lincoln thing. We could talk about the Zero Dark Thirty attacks by the Hollywood Stalinists. And about the Argo resurgence. (I’m presuming that Argo will win the big Producers Guild Award on Saturday, 1.26, and thus cinching the Best Picture Oscar.)

The DiCaprio cancellation recalls a similar situation when Javier Bardem bailed on a 2005 Santa Barbara Film Festival tribute when he wasn’t Oscar-nominated for Best Actor for his performance in The Sea Inside. (He returned to SBIFF when he was Best Supporting Actor-nominated for No Country For Old Men.)

“We were obviously saddened by DiCaprio’s conflict, but blown away at the chance to honor Tarantino, one of the most stylistically daring directors who is [also a] SBIFF favorite,” Durling said in an official statement.

More from Marshall: “Leo has been a friend of the festival ever since he was honored in 2005 and was excited about coming back. And the fact that Quentin was able to juggle things around so quickly to step in and not leave the SBIFF audiences in the lurch, was an exceptional feat.”