The story, adapted from the Mark Helprin novel, is set in both present-day and 19th Century Manhattan. The plot centers on a thief (Colin Farrell) who breaks into a wealthy young woman's estate to rob her, although he ends up falling for her just before she dies. Many years later, he discovers the gift of reincarnation, and becomes determined to bring her back to life. William Hurt is playing the father of the young woman (Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay). Will Smith and Russell Crowe also star in minor roles, portraying a judge and a mobster.
Akiva Goldsman is directing from his own adapted screenplay, with Marc Platt and Michael Tadross producing from a $46 million budget. The project serves as Akiva Goldsman's theatrical directorial debut, although he directed several episodes of the Fox TV series Fringe. Production is scheduled to begin this October in New York City.