When you've been penning screenplays for twenty years, worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood and nabbed yourself an Oscar, you become one of the few people in the movie-making business who can call up Will Smith and Russell Crowe and convince them to take supporting roles in your directorial debut. Akiva Goldsman is one of those people.
Goldsman has been working for years on his adaptation of Mark Helprin's 1983 magical realism novel Winter's Tale for years, but now it appears to finally be in the pipeline, with Smith and Crowe both taking supporting roles. The story follows a messiah like figure, Peter Lake, as he crosses paths with multiple characters across a fantastical version of New York City. Although unconfirmed, Crowe is supposedly set to tackle the role of Pearly Soames, a gangster, while Smith would play a judge. Both sound like minor parts, but their appearances helped convince the studio to fork over the money for the $75 million movie.
There's no release date for the film, but with cast and money in place, Goldsman could start shooting in September or October of this year. With such a passion for the material, one hopes the end product could be a Hugo-esque prestige blockbuster. But don't forget: while Goldsman is the guy who brought us A Beautiful Mind, he also wrote Batman & Robin. The inclusion of Smith and Crowe is reason to be hopeful, but we'll just have to wait until Winter's Tale is fully realized before getting too excited.