Romantic comedies can be a tricky proposition, since few releases manage to earn both critical praise and top box office dollars. The rough waters of its genre make the success of Crazy, Stupid, Love particularly impressive. Sure, the ensemble cast – which includes Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Ryan Gosling – helped the film draw audiences of all ages, but even so, critics embraced the 2011 film, to the tune of a solid 78 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
It's little wonder then that the follow-up release from filmmakers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa – a heist comedy entitled Focus – has managed to attract top-notch talent like Will Smith and mounting anticipation, even in such early stages. Now the film seems to have found its leading lady, too.
According to Variety, Margot Robbie has landed the role of a novice con artist who teams up with an experienced con man (Smith). Robbie is perhaps best known for her role as flight attendant Laura Cameron on ABC's short-lived Pan Am series. She's also set to appear this fall in Richard Curtis' About Time and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey.
Reports suggest that Robbie's involvement is not yet official, but it appears that the extensive search for an actress to star opposite Smith has concluded. Initially, Crazy, Stupid, Love stars Gosling and Emma Stone were intended to lead the film, though that plan dissolved due to schedule conflicts. Other actresses considered for the part included Michelle Williams, Jessica Biel, Rose Byrne, Olivia Munn and Twilight star Kristen Stewart, who ultimately left the project before Smith came on board.
For Ficarra and Requa – whose sole previous directorial effort is the little-seen Jim Carrey comedy I Love You Phillip Morris – Focus could help solidify them as a romantic comedy force to be reckoned with. The film sounds like it could be a fun opportunity for Smith to spread the comedic muscles he hasn't truly flexed since Hitch in 2005, and putting Robbie onscreen with a star as well-known as Smith could prove a winning formula, as the dynamic between the two actors will mirror the novice-veteran relationship they'll share in the film itself.
Do you think Robbie is a good choice to play off of Smith, or should the studio have gone with a more proven big screen leading lady? Sound off in the comments section below.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest on Focus as this story develops.