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