Will Smith Steps Into ‘Focus,’ a Role That Almost Went to Ben Affleck and Ryan Gosling

Credit: Kevork Djansezian/AP Photo

Focus, which has had the musical chairs of A-list casting, looks like they finally have one star to stay put: Will Smith. According to Variety, Smith is in final talks to star in the film which follows “an inexperienced female con artist who teams up with a more seasoned male one.” Hollywood.com reached out to Smith’s rep for a statement regarding the casting news, but they could not immediately be reached. 

Smith would, naturally, play the latter in a role that was originally optioned to fellow Hollywood heavy hitters like Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Ben Affleck. In fact, Affleck was close to taking on the part in the action drama, but prior commitments got in the way. The same went for Gosling, actually, who Focus’ writers and directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa wanted to re-team with his Crazy, Stupid, Love co-star Emma Stone. (Unfortunately, Gangster Squad beat them to the punch on that). 

While it’s uncertain if Stone is still being considered for the now Gosling-less project, Kristen Stewart had been attached to the project when Affleck was still in the running. But the Twilight star felt that the age gap between her and Affleck was too big and dropped out. There’s no word in the Variety report about which actresses are being courted now that Smith will likely sign on for Focus.

As Smith ponders over his next projects in addition to Focus, the actor will next be seen in the futuristic sci-fi drama After Earth

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