After a long and successful career as a screenwriter, working on everything from major feature films like The Da Vinci Code and I Am Legend to 19 episodes of Fringe, Akiva Goldsman has spent the last couple of years working on making his feature directorial debut: an adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel Winter's Tale. He spent months assembling a stellar cast of big names and secured a Valentine's Day 2014 release date from Warner Bros., and now the movie has delivered its first trailer.
Both adapted and directed by Goldman, the fantasy story tells the story of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), an Irish thief living in New York at the turn of the 20th century, who gets caught up in a romance with Bererly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) a young woman dying of a fatal illness. Throwing the narrative for a spin, however, part of the story is also set in the present day.
The most peculiar thing about this trailer? The complete lack of Will Smith. Back in February 2012 both Smith and Russell Crowe signed on to the project as a favor to Goldsman to try and help him get the movie made. Crowe, of course, gets the spotlight multiple times in this first preview, playing Pearly Soames, the leader of the gang hunting the protagonist down. But where is Will Smith?
Looking at the full cast, it's interesting to note that Smith and Crowe aren't the only stars with ties to Goldsman as a screenwriter. Crowe starred in Cinderella Man and Smith was the lead in both I, Robot and I Am Legend, but Jennifer Connelly won an Oscar thanks to A Beautiful Mind, and William Hurt was part of the Lost In Space ensemble. Weirdly enough the only actors who have not worked with the filmmaker before are Farrell and Findlay, Winter's Tale's leads.
Whether or not Winter's Tale will be able to hold its own in theaters when it comes out next year remains a question without an answer. Valentine's Day is a very crowded holiday weekend in 2014, with the About Last Night remake, the Endless Love remake, the Vampire Academy adaptation and the RoboCop remake all set to drop in the same week. That's a lot of competition. Frankly, while I didn't love the trailer at the top of this post the movie does at least look like something that we haven't seen on the big screen before - which is more than can be said for most of the aforementioned titles.
In addition to the Winter's Tale trailer, you can scope out the new poster below, which comes to us via the film's official Facebook page.