Focus trailer

In Focus, Will Smith is an experienced con man who leads a well-organized ring of criminals. Then he meets an up and coming grifter played by Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) and the con games get complicated for both of them. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa writers and Crazy Stupid Love writer/directors) Focus seems to aspire to blend the zip of a modern film like Wolf of Wall Street with some of the weight of a classical Hollywood picture. Check out the Focus trailer below.

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First Look: Will Smith and Margot Robbie in ‘Focus’

Margot Robbie Focus

Will Smith‘s only role this year was a glorified cameo in Winter’s Tale, but he’ll be back next year with a much bigger part in Focus. Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), the “comedy-caper-love story” pairs him with Margot Robbie as two con artists with a complicated history. When they reunite a few years later, sparks fly once again.

Interestingly, Focus was originally set to star Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and then Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart. So how do Smith and Robbie stack up against those other A-list duos? See for yourself with the first Focus images after the jump.

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looney-tunes-1a

With every other classic property making its way to the big screen, you didn’t think Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes would get left out, did you?

A new Looney Tunes movie called Acme is in the works, with Steve Carell already attached to star. X-Men: First Class scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are writing the script, and Carell’s Crazy, Stupid, Love. helmers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are in early talks to direct. Hit the jump for all the details.

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Tina Fey Taliban Shuffle

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, writing-directing pair that made Crazy, Stupid, Love, are just finishing the movie Focus at Warner Bros., with Will Smith and Margot Robbie starring. Once that gets all the way through post, the duo may have another film ready to move forward. They’ve just signed to direct Taliban Shuffle, based on the wartime memoir from journalist Kim Barker. And Tina Fey will star as Barker, and produce the film with Lorne Michaels. Read More »

According to the old saying, truth is stranger than fiction, but that never stops artists from trying to turn truth into fiction. This winter, Wired magazine published a piece titled “John McAfee’s Last Stand,” a riveting account of the McAfee Inc. founder’s crazy fall from a millionaire software engineer to a paranoid suspected murderer hiding out in Belize. It was only a matter of time before a studio snapped up that juicy tale, and now Warner Bros. is negotiating to bring it to the big screen. To aid in that effort, they’ve hired Crazy, Stupid, Love. duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa to write and direct. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Warner Bros. was once a studio synopymous with animation thanks to the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon lines. But it has been a long time since WB was particularly commanding in theatrical animation. (The studio does have a healthy direct to video animation arm, however.) Other studios such as Pixar and DreamWorks have taken center stage there.

Pixar is famous for its “brain trust,” and the concept of having some individual or group of people to guide other projects, beyond the basic producer capacity, has spread to Marvel, which has Joss Whedon, and Fox, which hired Mark Millar to emulate Whedon’s “godfather” duties with superhero projects.

Now Warner Bros. is assembling its own group of creators to act as a sort of brain trust, with the filmmakers behind Crazy, Stupid, Love., Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and The Muppets formed into a new feature animation think tank that will hopefully create one animated feature per year for the studio.  Read More »

If there is any justice, Warner Bros. is about to enjoy a good run of success with Ben Affleck‘s third film, Argo, which is one of the most entertaining and satisfying films I’ve seen this year. (And certainly among the best from a major studio.) And so Affleck being attached, as an actor only, to another project Warner Bros. wants to make should come as no surprise to anyone. That he is essentially replacing Ryan Gosling is a bit of a shock.

Crazy Stupid Love writer/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa were planning to follow that film with Focus, with a reunited Gosling and Emma Stone. But those two have now fallen away, and if the right co-star is found the film could be a go with Affleck in the male lead role. Read More »

Briefly: Glenn Ficarra & John Requa delivered an occasionally effective romantic comedy this year with Crazy, Stupid, Love., which featured Steve Carell and the suddenly ubitquitous Ryan Gosling as guys trying to navigate tricky romantic waters. Things went well enough with that film that the directors are putting together a new film with Carell that sounds like it is taking a few cues from the Todd Phillips approach to comedy. The project is untitled and in the early stages, but it involves a European backpacking trip. Read More »

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