New Line Cinema is nearing completion on a deal that will give them the distribution rights to the drama Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith (Concussion), according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie centers on a New York Ad Exec (Smith) who undergoes a personal tragedy. His friends then find an unconventional way to break him out of his depression with a method that works, but which has an unexpected effect on his life. Jason Segel (The End of the Tour) also stars. Rooney Mara (Carol) was also once attached the project, but recently bowed out.
The deal makes sense for New Line as Smith continues to be a box office draw. Smith was brought on to the project, replacing Hugh Jackman (Pan) who was originally cast in the lead role until scheduling conflicts became an issue. Smith will be seen next in the upcoming true-story drama Concussion that follows Smith as Dr. Omalu, the doctor who fought to expose the dangers of CTE and concussions caused by playing football.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and The Dying Girl) is directing Collateral Beauty. The film is currently set to release in 2016 though no specific date has been announced. With Smith and Segel on board, – the latter of whom is hot off an acclaimed performance as David Foster Wallace – New Line is likely considering releasing the film next fall for awards contention. The film was reported as being prepared for sale at the Toronto Film Festival. New Line is expected to finish the deal at the end of the week.