Collateral Beauty is heading to theaters for Christmas — and opening against a formidable opponent. Warner Bros said today that it has moved literary adaptation Chicken Soup For The Soul to 2017 and given its former December 16 slot to the Will Smith drama.
Collateral Beauty has had an up-and-down production. Originally set to star Hugh Jackman, the film now features Smith as a New York advertising executive who experiences a personal tragedy and the subsequent unconventional plan from his colleagues to break him out of his depression. Written by Allan Loeb, the project was be helmed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, but he dropped out in October over creative differences. David Frankel took over the director’s chair. Rooney Mara was set to star but left the project just as New Line acquired it in October. Now Keira Knightley is circling that role. Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris and Michael Pena are also confirmed for the ensemble.
The film now will open in a prime Oscar spot as counterprogramming to Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Meanwhile, Warners bumped Chicken Soup For The Soul to 2017. Alcon acquired film and TV rights to the Chicken Soup property in 2013, and last year it was selected as one of 11 feature films to receive a piece of the expanded $330 million-a-year California Tax Credit Program. No cast or director has been set.