New Line Snaps Up Will Smith Drama Collateral Beauty


Never underestimate Will Smith’s enduring star power. Barely a month since the Suicide Squad star supplanted Hugh Jackman in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s latest drama Collateral Beauty and The Hollywood Reporter brings word that New Line Cinema is within arm’s reach of a deal to acquire the film.

Positioned as Gomez-Rejon’s next project following the director’s work on festival darling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, it’s understood that principal photography is set to get underway next month, and today’s news is further evidence that the Will Smith-fronted pic is ready to step in front of the cameras ahead of a release next year.

Penned by Allan Loeb, Collateral Beauty centers on a New York advertising executive (Smith), who succumbs to a crippling spell of a depression after a personal tragedy. Threatening to consume his personal and professional life, it’s then up to Smith’s co-workers in the film to devise a plan to bring an end to the protagonist’s lowly rut, though how it pans out catches all involved by surprise.

Simmering in development for quite some time, Gomez-Rejon’s latest has had to deal with departing stars, too, with Rooney Mara once attached to play a part in the depression drama before pulling out – likely due to her involvement in Joe Wright’s Pan. It was a similar story to Jackman, who cited scheduling conflicts with the incubating Wolverine project as his primary reason for dropping out. As a result, there’s no word yet on who will round out the cast of Collateral Beauty at the time of writing, though with New Line’s backing, surely it’s only a matter of time before Smith’s hapless advertising executive finds some colleagues.

Principal photography on Collateral Beauty will begin in and around late October in New York City, before a planned release in 2016.