Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Robert Downey Jr. Trashes Indie Moviemaking, Fires Back Over Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Superhero Diss Robert Downey Jr. Trashes Indie Moviemaking, Fires Back Over Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Superhero Diss First Look: Clear Photos Of Ben Affleck In Costume From 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Look: Clear Photos Of Ben Affleck In Costume From 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Kristen Stewart Says "Hollywood Is Disgustingly Sexist," Questions When Actresses Decide To Go Nude Kristen Stewart Says "Hollywood Is Disgustingly Sexist," Questions When Actresses Decide To Go Nude Warner Bros' DC Comics' Franchise Is Reportedly A Big Movie Universe Without A Clear Leader Warner Bros' DC Comics' Franchise Is Reportedly A Big Movie Universe Without A Clear Leader Data On Netflix Original Programming Reveals Everyone Is Watching 'Daredevil,' Not Tuning Into 'Bloodline' Data On Netflix Original Programming Reveals Everyone Is Watching 'Daredevil,' Not Tuning Into 'Bloodline' Rumor: Asa Butterfield Is The Frontrunner To Play Marvel's Spider-Man Rumor: Asa Butterfield Is The Frontrunner To Play Marvel's Spider-Man Rumor: Jared Leto's Joker To Appear In 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Rumor: Jared Leto's Joker To Appear In 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Ranked: All The Characters Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked: All The Characters Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel & More To Star In Xavier Dolan's Next Film 'Only The End Of The World' Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel & More To Star In Xavier Dolan's Next Film 'Only The End Of The World' “ 'Blade Runner' Is Almost A Religion For Me”: Denis Villeneuve Talks Directing The Sci-Fi Sequel “ 'Blade Runner' Is Almost A Religion For Me”: Denis Villeneuve Talks Directing The Sci-Fi Sequel Cannes: New Images From 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard Cannes: New Images From 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard Plot Details And Opening Sequence Revealed For Gaspar Noe's 3D Cannes Midnight Movie 'Love' Plot Details And Opening Sequence Revealed For Gaspar Noe's 3D Cannes Midnight Movie 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Check Out Teaser Posters For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon' Check Out Teaser Posters For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked

Will Smith To Replace Ben Affleck In Con Man Movie 'Focus,' Kristen Stewart Drops Out

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist April 17, 2013 at 8:55PM

According to a report in Variety, Will Smith is lining up his next role – as an older con artist who teaches a young female con artist (to be played by Kristen Stewart) his thieving ways. The movie, entitled "Focus," is written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who most recently directed the hit comedy "Crazy, Stupid, Love" for Warner Bros. (the same studio producing "Focus").
26
Will Smith

According to a report in Variety, Will Smith is lining up his next role – as an older con artist who teaches a young female con artist his thieving ways. The movie, entitled "Focus," is written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who most recently directed the hit comedy "Crazy, Stupid, Love" for Warner Bros. (the same studio producing "Focus").

The trade reveals that Smith has been "weighing the film for some time and has officially committed to joining the pic." Smith is notoriously picky when it comes to what projects he signs on to – perhaps most famously turning down the title role in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" for the safer "Men in Black 3" – and Warner Bros. has had a hard time filling the role. Initially, Ficarra and Requa wanted to reteam their "Crazy, Stupid, Love" stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, but when Gosling's schedule proved difficult they started looking elsewhere.

Stewart had been attached for a little while, but according to THR, she has since dropped out. The filmmakers but they were doggedly working on getting Ben Affleck to star. He almost signed on until other commitments intervened. Given the size of the movie, Warner Bros. (and producer Denise DiNovi) knew that they would have to attach a star of a particular wattage, which is why Brad Pitt was also sought at one point.

While the movie isn't something anyone could consider "risky" (unless there's some subversive streak the logline isn't revealing), it does seem a step in the right direction for Smith, who all too often chooses safely commercial fare over more unproven, artier material. Ficarra and Requa previously wrote "Bad Santa" for Terry Zwigoff and "The Bad News Bears" for Richard Linklater, before writing and directing "I Love You Phillip Morris," which, despite it being more or less outstanding, proved too controversial for mainstream audiences.

Warner Bros. purchased the script early last year and, according to the report, they are antsy to get it into development. Considering Smith's busy schedule (he can next be seen in M. Night Shyamalan's post-apocalyptic comeback movie "Another Earth") and Stewart's impending commitments to another "Snow White and the Huntsman" movie, production should get underway soon. We wonder if they're already looking at a July 4th weekend spot.  

This article is related to: Will Smith, Kristen Stewart, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, Ben Affleck, Focus


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates