Will Smith and Russell Crowe Support This 'Winter's Tale'

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It's not often that you see heavy-hitters like Will Smith and Russell Crowe (whose names alone can march us all to the box office in droves) sign on to films as supporting cast. And for both of them to do it in the same movie?

That must be some movie.

Both Smith and Crowe have joined the cast of Akiva Goldsman's directorial debut "Winter's Tale." Based on the time-jumping, anything goes Mark Helprin fantasy novel of the same name, the film will feature Smith as a judge and Crowe as a head gangster named Pearly Soames as the setting shifts back-and-forth between nineteenth-century and present-day Manhattan... with flying horses. 

The two main characters in the story, Peter Lake and Beverly Penn, are still as of yet un-cast, but, in a nutshell, the two fall in love after he breaks into her Manhattan apartment and discovers her there, dying of consumption but still able to tap into the mysteries of the universe.

Vulture reports that tacking Will Smith and Russell Crowe onto the project ate up about $20 million of the budget and took Akiva Goldsman "call[ing] in every favor he had" (he'd worked with them both before, having written the screenplays for Smith's "I, Robot" and "I Am Legend" and Crowe's "A Beautiful Mind" as well as producing Smith's "Hancock"), but it also got the ball moving on the movie, which had been suffering from a few financial woes.

Filming is expected to begin this fall.