In the works for a while now, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman ("Cinderella Man," "I Am Legend") had to do a finessing to get his directorial debut, the ambitious fantasy "A Winter's Tale" off the ground. First, he had to shave $20 million off the initial budget of $75 million, and to ease studio concerns about the marketability, he got pals Russell Crowe and Will Smith (see above credits) to take small roles. But with casting firming up over the past year, this thing is now ready to roll and the last puzzle pieces have fallen into place.
"White Collar" and "Magic Mike" star Matt Bomer, bonafide legend Eva Marie Saint ("North By Northwest," "On The Waterfront," man more) and "True Blood" star Lucy Griffiths have all come on board. Based on the acclaimed 1983 novel by Mark Helprin, the story that follows a thief (Colin Farrell) who breaks into a wealthy man’s (William Hurt) home, sparking a relationship with the man’s terminally ill daughter (Jessica Findlay-Brown) with reincarnation, a flying horse, and a time-shift of 100 years all playing a part of the plot. Bomer and Griffiths will play Farrell's parents (huh?) while the Saint's "pivotal" role is being kept under wraps.
While we've had a love/hate relationship with Goldsman and his work, we're rooting for him here if only because he's trying to do something original within the studio system, which is kind of rare these days. We certainly like the talent involved, so fingers crossed this turns out to be something as unique as it sounds. [Deadline]