US Release Date: 2/20/15
When After Earth crashed and burned at the box office back in 2013, Will Smith – the star of the title – took it very hard. The movie, which also starred Smith’s son, Jayden, cost $130 million to make, and grossed less than $70 million at the domestic box office.
As a result, the former star of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air has been shying away from big budget blockbuster movies. Don’t expect to see him in Independence Day 11 when hit hits theatres next year.
In Focus, a heist drama – comedy, Smith’s character is smooth operator Nicky Spurgeon, someone you probably don’t want to turn your back on, who becomes romantically involved with Jess (Margot Robbie) as he’s teaching her the tricks of the trade.
When the movie opens in New Orleans, things are very steamy between the twosome, but then the romance becomes too hot, and Nicky suddenly breaks things off. They don’t see one another again until three years later.
That’s when the story switches to Buenos Aires, and Jess jumps back into Nicky’s life.
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are the guys responsible for dreaming up the above scenario – they’re serving as writers and directors. For the two filmmakers, Smith was a “must have” for the role of the cool, calculating and manipulating conman.
Smith, in turn, loved the script, wanted the part and jumped on board. Comparing Ficarra and Requa to parents who formerly owned a casino and strip club, he says the two filmmakers always want to make sure their “children” are in good spirits, working hard to keep the “family biz” alive, and just “intoxicated” enough to do their best work possible.
Margot Robbie, who also relished her involvement in the pic, says her character goes through quite an arc – starting out as an innocent gal and ending as someone completely different. Though she doesn’t want to give any more hints, out of fear of revealing spoilers, Robbie does say that the character was a ton of fun.
Hoping that audiences will gobble up Focus as eagerly as they chow down popcorn, the directors promise that their movie has something for everyone – fast cars, football, romance, comedy, two massive cons and a couple of big surprises that, they say, will take everyone by surprise.
Director: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Stars: Will Smith and Margot Robbie
Producer: Denise Di Novi
Executive Producers: Charlie Gogolak and Stan WlodKowski
Sources: Warner Bros Press Notes and Box Office Mojo
Image Info: Will Smith & Margot Robbie in Focus. Copyright Warner Bros, 2014. All Rights Reserved