Will Smith and Russell Crowe have joined the cast of writer Akiva Goldsman's directorial debut, Winter's Tale. We reported back in November that Russell Crowe was loosely attached to portray the villain, and now he has officially signed on.

The story is set in both present day and the late 19th century, and centers on a thief who falls in love with the Irish heiress he just robbed, right before she dies. He later learns that he possesses the gift of reincarnation, and becomes determined to save her life. Will Smith will play a judge, while Russell Crowe is portraying the mob boss Pearly Soames, who is trying to kill the burglar. Both the thief and heiress have not been cast yet, and it is said that a flying white horse plays an important part in the story.

Akiva Goldsman is directing Winter's Tale from his own screenplay, which he adapted from the novel written by Mark Halprin. It is said that Akiva Goldsman called in every favor he could to get this project off the ground, and has shaved $20 million off the budget. Production may start as early as September, if Warner Bros. ends up giving Winter's Tale the green light.