evil Wears Prada” helmer David Frankel is in early talks to direct New Line drama “Collateral Beauty” starring Will Smith, following the loss of director Alfonso Gomez- Rejon. Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Bard Dorros are producing along with screenwriter Allan Loeb, while PalmStar CEO Kevin Frakes and Anthony Bregman are exec producing. The story follows a New York advertising exec (Smith) who experiences a deep personal tragedy.
His colleagues devise an unconventional plan to break him out of his depression, which ends up backfiring. PalmStar and Likely Story acquired the rights to the script in June, with PalmStar fully financing. Production was expected to start next month; it is unknown if they will push that date while they fill out the remaining ensemble. Frankel made a name for himself on the TV front, especially at HBO, where he helmed episodes for such series as “Sex and the City” and “Band of Brothers” before making his big splash on the big screen with the hit comedy “The Devil Wears Prada.” Frankel has since helmed comedies with strong characters like “Hope Springs” and most recently the James Corden pic “One Chance.” John Carney and Jason Bateman were also in the mix to direct, but execs offered the gig to Frankel in the end. Frankel is repped by WME and Anonymous Content. — Reuters