'300' Actor to Star Opposite Will Smith in Warner Bros.' 'Focus' (Exclusive)

Rodrigo Santoro - H 2013
Joe Klamar

Rodrigo Santoro will play the powerful owner of an international car racing team in the heist movie being directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

Rodrigo Santoro, who stars as Xerxes in 300: Rise of an Empire, will play the foil to Will Smith in Focus, the Warner Bros. heist movie being directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

Focus follows a con man (Smith) who becomes romantically involved with a novice, being played by Margot Robbie. He is then thrown off his game when the former flame shows up just as he’s staging an elaborate con in Buenos Aires.

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Santoro, who was born in Brazil, will play the magnetic and powerful owner of an international auto racing team who is vying for Robbie’s affections. He also hires Smith to gain a competitive edge for his racing team.

Denise Di Novi is producing the picture, which will begin shooting in October in New Orleans and Buenos Aires.

Courtenay Valenti is overseeing for the studio.

Santoro just wrapped the much-talked-about Western Jane Got a Gun with Natalie Portman and is currently in Brazil starring in Carlos Saldanha’s segment of Rio I Love You.  He is also lending his voice for Saldanha’s animated film Rio 2, which opens May 14, 2014. He was last seen in the indie feature Heleno, a black-and-white Portuguese-language film Santoro starred in and produced based on the life of one of Brazil’s greatest soccer players, Heleno de Freitas.

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Warners releases Rise of an Empire, in which he reprises his role of the mad Persian monarch Xerxes, on March 7, 2014.

Rodrigo is repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.