Will Smith and Russell Crowe are used to being leading men, but according to Vulture, Akiva Goldsman has pulled off something of a coup, getting both actors to take supporting roles in his directorial debut, Winter’s Tale. Crowe’s involvement was first mooted last November, but it’s only now that he has officially signed on.
The story is set in both the present day and the late 19th century, and centres on a thief who falls in love with the Irish heiress he just robbed, right before she dies. He later learns that he possesses the gift of reincarnation, and becomes determined to save her life. Will Smith will play a judge, while Russell Crowe is portraying a mob boss called Pearly Soames, who is trying to kill the burglar. Neither the thief nor heiress have been cast yet.
Akiva Goldsman is directing Winter’s Tale from his own screenplay, which he adapted from Mark Halprin’s novel. It is said that Akiva Goldsman called in every favour he could to get this project off the ground, and has shaved $20 million off the budget. Production may start in September, assuming Warner Bros. ends up giving Winter’s Tale the green light.