Will Smith Will Train Margot Robbie In The Art Of Conning In Focus
The cast of the crime drama Focus has been a revolving door for over a year now, but the spinning seems to have finally come to an end. Variety reports that newcomer Margot Robbie is in early talks to star opposite Will Smith in the film, from Crazy Stupid Love co-writers and co-directors John Requa and Glen Ficarra. You might remember that at one point the pair intended the film as a reunion between that movie's stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, but scheduling got in the way, which unfortunately leaves us stuck with Gangster Squad as their only reunion.
Not quite as appealing as Gosling and Stone, but still pretty damn interesting, was the potential duo of Kristen Stewart and Ben Affleck, both of whom were attached to star before eventually dropping out. Finally the male lead went to Will Smith, who is still attached to play a con man who gets romantically involved with his younger protege (Gosling and Stone are only 8 years apart in age, while Smith is a full 22 years older than Robbie, so the script has presumably gone through some shifts during this crazy casting process). Robbie beat out some seasoned competition for the role, including Michelle Williams and Jessica Biel; according to Variety it came down to Robbie and Olivia Munn before Robbie won out. The Australian actress was the lead in NBC's short-lived Pan Am, and can be spotted in the gonzo trailer for Martin Scorsese's upcoming The Wolf of Wall Street, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. Check it out below (she's the blonde who gets DiCaprio so hot and bothered he bites his fist).
Robbie is obviously an up-and-comer with a lot of promise, but the real key to Focus has to be Smith, who seemed to spend the last half-decade focusing specifically on movies that are basically the opposite of "gritty, low-budget drama." Especially in the wake of Seven Pounds, you can't blame him for wanting to avoid it. But after After Earth debuted as a huge flop earlier this summer, Smith is probably ready for a change of pace, and doing something a little daring like Focus could be a fantastic fresh star. He turned down Django Unchained and dropped out of the Oldboy remake before Spike Lee got on board, and seemed content to simply make a giant film every few years, turn his kids into movie stars, and continue raking in the cash. Did After Earth shake him up enough to make him consider actually acting again? If Will Smith is heading for a comeback, Focus seems as good a place as any to get started. Margot Robbie might have just signed on to the movie we'll look back at and say "Oh yeah, that's when Will Smith actually decided to care again." Fingers crossed.
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