It’s taken a few turns to get here, but Collateral Beauty is shaping up to be a highly-anticipated film. It was initially Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s follow-up project to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and was expected to star Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara, until Jackman dropped out. Will Smith then stepped into the role, playing a New York advertising executive who experiences a personal tragedy and falls into a deep depression after which his colleagues resort to an “unconventional plan” to help get him out of it.
Unfortunately, “creative differences” emerged and Gomez-Rejon exited the project. Since then, news has been slow on the project, but now it appears New Line Studio has put the pieces together, and it sure looks promising.
According to The Wrap, David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) is set to direct a cast that includes Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Michael Pena (The Martian), and Naomie Harris (Skyfall). Also in talks to join is 2016 Oscar-nominee Rachel McAdams (Spotlight). McAdams’ is currently filming Scott Derrickson’s Marvel movie Doctor Strange, so it’s unclear just how open her schedule is for this film. Still, that is quite the impressive cast, and surely makes Collateral Beauty a much more intriguing film than it otherwise may have been after the unfortunate departures.
The film is written by Allan Loeb, who veers between dramas like Things We Lost in the Fire and 21, to comedies including The Dilemma and The Switch. Needless to say it’s hard to know what to expect, but if the project has attracted a cast made up of these actors, perhaps we’re in for more of a 21 and less of a Rock of Ages. Also of note, one of the producers of Spotlight is behind this project, so allow that to add to the expectations/relief the cast already provides. No word on when filming starts, but this film is now sure to be on many people’s radar.