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‚Äôs 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.]