A-list star near to closing deal.

Will Smith has is believed to have entered into final talks to replace Ben Affleck as the male lead in the con artist film ‘Focus.’

With ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa writing and directing, ‘Focus’ tells the story of a con artist (Smith) who takes an inexperienced female counterpart under his wing. They get involved romantically but that becomes perilous in a business where they lie and cheat for a living. The complications of the encounter haunt them when they meet up again in the future.

As previously reported, the film was originally developed with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in mind for the leads but scheduling conflicts threw a spanner in the works. Affleck and Kristen Stewart then stepped into fill the roles, only to exit the project months later.

The producers will now try and lock in an actress to Smith’s age.

‘Focus’ will be produced by Denise Di Novi through her DiNovi Pictures banner, with Alison Greenspan on board to serve as executive producer.

mith will next be seen starring alongside his son Jaden Smith in the sci-fi actioner ‘After Earth,’ opening in Irish cinemas June 7th