Will Smith is reportedly in final talks to join Focus, a con artist picture set up at Warner Bros. The story follows a young woman who’s just getting into the con game and teams up with a seasoned veteran to gain experience. Ben Affleck was previously attached to star, but dropped out in order to work on his next project. Recent reports also have Kristen Stewart, who had previously been attached, departing the picture. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa of Crazy, Stupid, Love wrote the film and will direct. Hit the jump for more.
Variety reports that Smith is in final negotiations to star in Focus. With Ficarra and Requa at the helm, the original plan was to reunite Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for the picture. That clearly didn’t pan out. Affleck and Stewart soon joined the cast with Affleck leaving soon after to, pardon the pun, focus on his adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s 1920s Boston crime drama Live By Night. With Affleck out, the studio withheld the green light until the picture landed top-tier talent.
Enter Smith, who has been mulling his next project for the last few months. He apparently also considered the Hurricane Katrina pic, The American Can, and Warner’s The Accountant, but ultimately chose to go with Focus. Smith will next be seen in the M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi flick After Earth, co-starring his son Jaden Smith. After Earth opens June 7th.
Update: New reports have Stewart dropping out of the picture citing discomfort over the age difference between her and Smith. That’s a little odd considering that the age difference appeared to be the premise of the film, but to what extent remains undisclosed. The studio is now searching for a female lead closer to Smith’s age.]