It’s funny to remember that at one time, “Collateral Beauty” was in dire straights. Originally, it was set to star Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara, with “Me And Earl And The Dying Girl” director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon behind the camera. But first Jackman left, only to be replaced by Will Smith. Then Mara and Gomez-Rejon both exited, and the project seemed to be in peril. But man, has it ever bounced back.
Kate Winslet has joined the ensemble which now includes Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Michael Peña and Naomie Harris. Dang. It’s certainly the biggest roster of stars that David Frankel (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Marley & Me“), now tasked with directing, has ever worked with. And it perhaps indicates that Allan Loeb‘s (“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” “Just Go With It“) script, that follows a New York City ad executive who slips into depression following a tragedy and embarks on an unconventional method to turn his life around, is the real deal. It’s certainly attracting some big league talent.
Certainly, Warner Bros. is banking pretty hard on this ensemble to be a strong offering to those who don’t want to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” on December 16th, when “Collateral Beauty” will also drop. No matter what, this is a picture to definitely keep an eye on. [THR]