Will Smith in Talks for Heist Flick ‘Focus'; Kristen Stewart No Longer Costarring

Published 2 years ago by

will smith focus movie Will Smith in Talks for Heist Flick Focus; Kristen Stewart No Longer Costarring

Crazy, Stupid, Love directors Glenn Ficarre and John Requa were hoping to work again with leads Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone on a heist-comedy titled Focus, but scheduling didn’t work out and the filmmakers ended up casting Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart instead; now, both those actors have left the project, and Will Smith has entered talks to come aboard.

Affleck dropped Focus in order to… uh, focus his attention on writing, directing and starring in the Dennis Lehane novel adaptation Live by Night. As for Stewart, the Twilight actress reportedly exited the project sometime over the past few weeks, perhaps to prepare for her role in The Big Shoe (since the only other major project on her docket, the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, is a ways off from beginning production in the near future).

THR is reporting that Smith has entered talks to take the Focus role that Gosling and Affleck were eyed for, which is a seasoned con man who becomes romantically involved with a novice – the role that Stone and Stewart were in line for – just as he encounters an old flame, while preparing to execute his most elaborate job yet (perhaps the coveted “one last job,” in fact).

men black 4 will smith Will Smith in Talks for Heist Flick Focus; Kristen Stewart No Longer Costarring

Smith returned from a four-year acting break last year in Men in Black III, and is headed back to the big screen this June in M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth. He’ll appear in Winter’s Tale thereafter, and is attached to numerous projects that are stuck in early development right now, so there’s a reasonable chance he’ll sign on for Focus and help get the movie into theaters by sometime next year.

Focus would be a change of pace for Smith, after him making so many big-budget tentpoles that fall within the action, sci-fi and comedy genres (often a combination of the three); not to mention, it sounds as though the central role ought to play to his strengths as an actor with a charismatic and magnetic screen personality.

The script was written by Ficarre and Requa, who also scripted Bad Santa and both wrote and directed I Love You Phillip Morris together, so the film should offer Will a chance to explore the kind of sardonic comedy and comical satire material that he’s not properly tried his hand at before. Sound good to you?


More on Focus as the story develops.

Source: THR

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Will smith? in!

  2. The story line recalls ENTRAPMENT with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It also feels like Will Smith’s character HITCH, only his “dark side”. But there are distinct differences in how Smith will play this grifter in FOCUS and the way in which Ryan Gosling or Ben Affleck would have pulled it off: more comedic with Will, more dramatic with Ben, Ryan somewhere in between. The “pitch” on this is not fresh but the execution is the key to whether the movie works (that damn 3rd act) or if it lazes about.

  3. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but I read that Stewart left because of the age difference between Will Smith and her, which is odd, considering that Ben Affleck is around the same age as Will Smith. Age didn’t seem to bother her when she was sleeping with that director who was married.

    • I guess Kristen only sleeps with older white men.

      Anyway, I just hope Will doesn’t shove his son Jaden down out throats with this one. Thats the main reason why I have no interest in seeing After Earth. Well that and the fact that I refuse to watch another M. Night movie, after the way he butched The Last Airbender.

      • And that’s perfectly fine that she only sleeps with white men; it’s her preference. I’m just curious about the real reason behind her dropping the role.

        I too have my apprehensions when it comes to After Earth. The trailers look interesting, but I’m not too confident in Jaden’s acting ability. He’s going to be in a lot of scenes, so it would be difficult to ignore his acting if it isn’t any good.

  4. Kristen needs to get away from the nasty people out there. To make comments like she slept with the director is absolutely insane. You don’t know the truth. As for Will Smith, maybe she was not comfortable with this choice for her romantic partner in the film. That’s her choice. I would like to see the media give her a break. This can’t go on forever. Hope Rob is sympathetic and really forgiving. She’s a good person who had made a very immature mistake and has paid in the worst way. I really feel so sorry for her.

  5. Alot of outlets are reporting Kristen Stewart was fired from the project. Seems funny that Affleck, Gosling & even Brad Pitt turned this one down but as soon as KS “dropped out” all of a sudden Will Smith is signed. Sounds like they had to get rid of her first before a “name” actor would sign on to play the older love interest of a younger woman.