Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
This "Faith-Based" Drama Is Giving 'Straight Outta Compton' a Run for Its Money This Weekend... This "Faith-Based" Drama Is Giving 'Straight Outta Compton' a Run for Its Money This Weekend... Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor Biopic Is Officially Ready to Go (Mike Epps, Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Kate Hudson) Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor Biopic Is Officially Ready to Go (Mike Epps, Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Kate Hudson) Watch 5 Clips from Regina King's Feature Directorial Debut 'Let The Church Say Amen' Starring Naturi Naughton Watch 5 Clips from Regina King's Feature Directorial Debut 'Let The Church Say Amen' Starring Naturi Naughton Righting a Past Wrong? Academy to Present Spike Lee with Honorary Oscar Righting a Past Wrong? Academy to Present Spike Lee with Honorary Oscar African-American Female Team Produce Indie Horror Film ‘The Dark Rite’ African-American Female Team Produce Indie Horror Film ‘The Dark Rite’ Viola Davis Says She Will Star in a Film Adaptation of 'Fences' Directed by Denzel Washington Viola Davis Says She Will Star in a Film Adaptation of 'Fences' Directed by Denzel Washington "This Is a Relationship" - Watch Michael Ealy Frighten Sanaa Lathan in Tense First Clip From 'The Perfect Guy' "This Is a Relationship" - Watch Michael Ealy Frighten Sanaa Lathan in Tense First Clip From 'The Perfect Guy' Vin Diesel Says He's Returning for a 'xXx' Threequel - Filming to Start in December Vin Diesel Says He's Returning for a 'xXx' Threequel - Filming to Start in December Updates on Steve McQueen's "Epic" Series Centered on a Black Community in London, Over 3 Decades Updates on Steve McQueen's "Epic" Series Centered on a Black Community in London, Over 3 Decades This Is What Angela Bassett and Naomi Campbell Will Look Like in 'American Horror Story: Hotel' This Is What Angela Bassett and Naomi Campbell Will Look Like in 'American Horror Story: Hotel' Quentin Tarantino Says 'The Hateful Eight' Will Be Timely & Will Tackle White Supremacy Quentin Tarantino Says 'The Hateful Eight' Will Be Timely & Will Tackle White Supremacy But What About Black Superheroines, You Ask? Watch Episode 1 of CW Seed's Vixen Series But What About Black Superheroines, You Ask? Watch Episode 1 of CW Seed's Vixen Series Watch: Trailer for Miniseries Based on Life of Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz (Coming This Fall) Watch: Trailer for Miniseries Based on Life of Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz (Coming This Fall) Watch: First Look at Season Three of 'Hit the Floor' Watch: First Look at Season Three of 'Hit the Floor' Brad Pitt's Plan B + 'Ex Machina' Distribution Company Team up for Barry Jenkins' 'Moonlight' Brad Pitt's Plan B + 'Ex Machina' Distribution Company Team up for Barry Jenkins' 'Moonlight' Jay Ellis and Yvonne Orji Join Issa Rae in 'Insecure' for HBO Jay Ellis and Yvonne Orji Join Issa Rae in 'Insecure' for HBO Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... AFM News: Danny Glover, Derek Luke Will Play Prison Inmates In 3D Drama 'Long Day Journey' AFM News: Danny Glover, Derek Luke Will Play Prison Inmates In 3D Drama 'Long Day Journey'

Will Smith Gets A Love Interest For Warner Bros' Con-Man Project 'Focus'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 16, 2013 at 12:00PM

Will Smith Gets A Love Interest For Warner Bros' Con-Man Project 'Focus'
11

Will Smith
Will Smith appears to be officially locked into his next project (after this summer's After Earth, starring his son Jaden Smith); when we last reported on it, he was said to be "in talks" to star in Warner Bros' con-man film Focus, which previously had Ben Affleck as the top choice to play the role that Will Smith will now play. Affleck had to drop out as other commitments got in the way.

Also, when Affleck was the man for the job, Kristen Stewart was to star opposite him, playing his co-conspirator, as well as love interest, but she left the project when Smith jumped on-board, citing, according to Variety, an age gap between the two of them that was too wide (Will is 44, Stewart is 23). Although, that apparently wasn't too much of a problem for her, when Ben Affleck, who's not that much younger than Smith, was the candidate for the role. Affleck is 40.

As Variety reports:

Kristen Stewart was attached to also star in the pic, but when Smith became engaged in the project, Stewart fell off with the feeling that the age difference between the two would be too large a gap.

Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie

Announced this morning, taking over for Stewart in the film, will be Aussie actress Margot Robbie, who is said to be "in talks" for the role. 

Robbie is also 23 years old by the way.

Variety says that lots of actresses tested for the part, including Michelle Williams, Jessica BielRose Byrne, Olivia Munn and Margot Robbie, and it came down to Robbie and Munn, with Robbie winning out. She'll next be seen playing the female lead in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.

Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love), the Focus story centers on an inexperienced female con artist who teams up with a more seasoned male con artist, and sparks fly as they go about their con-artist ways.

Robbie will play the former, while Will Smith will play the latter.

Apparently, the project is one that the filmmakers have been trying to get off the ground since last year, when their original idea was to reteam their Crazy, Stupid, Love co-stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, for the lead roles. Scheduling conflicts with Gosling got in the way of that happening. 

Other top-tier actors had been courted for the part include Brad Pitt. Pitt apparently wasn't interested; and, as already noted, Affleck was, but was pulled away by other commitments.

An interesting choice for Will Smith here, especially when you consider that, looking over his IMDBPro page, there are at least 20 different projects that he could've tackled next, over this one.

But maybe it's a great script, and/or it provides him with the opportunity to do something different, assuming that it is.

So let's see how this goes. I wish I could get my hands on the script for this. Will has't exactly always been keen on doing love scenes on screen, so I'm curious if there are any in this one, and how they'll be handled given the obvious.

This article is related to: Will Smith


Shadow & ActNewsletter