Variety has confirmed that Columbia Pictures has set Peter Berg to direct Tonight, He Comes, the long-gestating film that will star Will Smith as a superhero in existential crisis.
The film begins shooting in May for a summer 2008 release. Akiva Goldsman, Michael Mann, James Lassiter and Smith produce.
The quartet of producers have supervised myriad Vince Gilligan rewrites that accentuated the superhero’s love affair with a married housewife. That has turned the latter role into one coveted by actresses. Charlize Theron is the favorite to take the job.
Berg’s name surfaced two weeks ago, but his deal took time as Sony labored to keep a fiscal rein on a film that will have as many visual effects as any superhero movie but a storyline that’s far less predictable. Smith’s character is a drinking, smoking womanizer whose lifestyle is closer to rock star than do-gooder. The public is as sick of him as he is of them, until he finds a special connection with the married housewife.
The script will be further honed while Will Smith shoots “I Am Legend” in New York until March. They will jump right into Tonight, He Comes, which will be set in Los Angeles.