Akiva Goldsman has long struggled to secure financing for his directorial debut, Winter’s Tale, which is surprising considering it is a magic-themed gangster story (adapted from a 1983 novel by Mark Helprin) from the man who wrote Batman & Robin, Lost In Space and produced the celluloid warcrime Jonah Hex. Oh wait, that’s not surprising in the slightest.
However, Goldsman has been playing the Hollywood game long enough to have picked up some high powered friends along the way. It sounds like he is now cashing in those chips big style, with the news that Russell Crowe (who was Oscar nominated for his role in Goldsman’s A Beautiful Mind) and Will Smith (who starred in I, Robot and I Am Legend) will be taking supporting roles in the movie as a judge and mob boss respectively, reportedly saving the film from wasting away in development hell. Though the lead roles have yet to be cast, shooting is now expected to begin later this year.[via Vulture]