Will Smith is in final negotiations to star in the upcoming Warner Bros. comedy Focus, about a grifter who takes a young woman under his wing, from the writing-directing team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris). The news was first reported by Variety.
Ficarra and Requa co-directed 2011’s Crazy Stupid Love, and, according to the report, the studio had originally hoped for Crazy co-stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling to reteam in Focus, but they couldn’t get their schedules to line up. Kristen Stewart boarded the pic in late 2012, and for a while there it looked like Ben Affleck was going to play the conman/love interest, but the Oscar-winner had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. The Will Smith casting is somewhat revelatory and breaks up his current trend of sequels and sci-fi flicks.
But as it goes in Hollywood casting, it turns out Smith will not be starring alongside Stewart. Warner Bros. confirmed to EW that the Twilight actress dropped out of the film some time ago.