Will Smith in ‘Focus’ for Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)

will smith

Kristen Stewart No Longer Attached to Con Artist Pic

Will Smith may have found his next project — he is in final talks to star in the Warner Bros. con artist pic “Focus.”

Kristen Stewart was attached to also star in the pic but when Smith became engaged in the project, Stewart fell off with the feeling that the age difference between the two would be too large a gap.

Smith had been weighing the film for some time and has committed to joining it.

Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who helmed “Crazy, Stupid, Love” for the studio, the story follows an inexperienced female con artist who teams up with a more seasoned male one. Denise DiNovi will produce.

It’s a sign of positive forward movement for Warners, which has been trying to get the project made since Ficarra and Requa brought them the script early last year. The original idea was to reteam  “Crazy Stupid Love” co-stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for the leads, but when Gosling’s schedule could not be worked out, Warners began looking at other candidates.

Sources say the studio loves the script but knew it would be tough to greenlight without a top-tier actor, so it began courting leads such as Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck. Affleck came close but earlier commitments got in the way.

Smith has spent several months considering his next project. Though he has several sequels in development, it appears he was looking for something new and original.

Sources say he had considered making  Hurricane Katrina pic “The American Can,” which he had been previously linked to, his next film, and that Warners had also approached him for “The Accountant.”

Smith, who can next be seen in Sony’s “After Earth,” is repped by CAA and Overbrook.

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  1. b j ones says:

    I’m going up a different avenue with my thoughts… what’s four years difference? After all life imitates art and verse versa. C’mon, what’s the really real reason.

  2. MSA says:

    Will Smith at 44 is too old for Kristen Stewart but Ben Affleck at 40 was not? She felt the “age difference between the two was too large a gap”? Isn’t that what the movie is about – an older man and his younger protege? Something sounds fishy – sounds more like they let her go because they couldn’t find an older name actor that wanted to play the part opposite her. Fess up Variety.

    • aitchcs says:

      I think Will Smith canned KStew and wants to cast an African American actress. would make sense. “uncomfortable with the age diff.” is a quote to tell the press.

  3. Nordez says:

    I was looking forward to this movie with Kristen attached :/ but I wouldn’t believe an onscreen romance between Will And Kristen…oh well. Boooooooo!

  4. Mandy says:

    lmao another movie doesn’t want her. Karma

  5. white guy says:

    Whites Hollywood and black women ‘ll never and ever permits black men/ white women scenes in a Big moovie unless the white woman is a prostitutes …in the other hand it’s ok to black women / white men have “sex” scenes in Big moovie ask ( H.berry,K.washigton,Saldano ecc….) Probably the person who ‘ll replace K.Stewart will be a Minorty /latina actress!!!!! K.Stewart gave a fake motivation to be out of that moovie but i am not blaming her for that ….she won’t ” risk ” her career kising a black actor in a big moovie!!!! am wondering if jaden once grown ll’ have the same issues with white actresses??

  6. Just saying says:

    Too bad, I was looking forward to this movie. :( It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good movie with Will Smith in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan, but it’s been a while since something on the big screen has popped up that’s made me want to watch. At least Kristen is doing SWATH II! Now that, I’M EXCITED FOR!!!

  7. On a serious note, Kristen Stewart isn’t big enough, or serious enough of a actress to star along Will Smith. Jennifer Lawrence all day.

  8. George Valentin says:

    I watched “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” this morning and I have that Will Banks character embedded in my mind with all his shouting, silliness, and arrogance. I think I will chalk up this movie.

  9. zabin4 says:

    Major studios almost never cast black/white, unfortunately. They’ll go with a minority actress, because mainstream America is too racist to get a black/white pairing.”The producers count their money.Too bad.

  10. Michael says:

    Not surprised. The Ben/Kristen thing was a stretch as it was, considering the age difference. Will’s a few years older than Ben and while he’s a damn handsome dude, he looks his age. Besides, Stewart and a straight comedy were probably not a good mix.

  11. Donna says:

    Both are great actors..what are you waiting for WB huhhhh???

  12. David says:

    “Kristen Stewart was attached to also star in the pic but when Smith became engaged in the project, Stewart fell off with the feeling that the age difference between the two would be too large a gap.” That didn’t stop her to screwing her director in Snow White & The Huntsman.

  13. Yvette says:

    Oh damn, a Will Smith/Kristen Stewart pairing would have been interesting. Of course it is the usual huge age difference that exists between actors and actresses, but seeing as the male character was supposed to be older it was more palatable! Hopefully the actress will be in her late 20’s/early 30’s

  14. Dana says:

    So is K in or out Variety? Why isn’t your article clearer?

  15. jennifer bays says:

    So what changed in the last 40 minutes? Just all of a sudden, Kristen S. dropped out? Because the article didn’t say that when it was first posted. Well, that sucks.

  16. lauralynn1121 says:

    Love both actors so it sounds like it’s going to be a great movie!

  17. Marcello says:

    awesome! love the sound of it! And yay for a white/black pairing!

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