Gabriele Muccino falls for 'Love'

Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment may join project

NEW YORK -- Gabriele Muccino, the Italian director and Will Smith collaborator, is setting up a new project.

Muccino will direct "What I Know About Love," a film described as a modern-day "Kramer vs. Kramer."

Like that 1970s custody saga, Muccino said that "Love" will seek to explore the wounds of divorce and single parenthood.

"It's the story of a family's collapse, but with the complexity that relationships have today," Muccino said. "It's a different world now, one that I think is more open and more destructive somehow."

The director is known for exploring the difficulties of romantic couplings as well as parent-child relationships.

Muccino will write "Love" with "Sex and the City" scribe Liz Tuccillo, with whom he collaborated on his latest project, the Mediaset-produced "Four Single Fathers." "Love" likely will be produced by Muccino's Indiana Prods. banner.

The project potentially also could involve Overbrook Entertainment, Smith and James Lassiter's Columbia-set production company with which Muccino made his two most recent films, "The Pursuit of Happyness" and the upcoming "Seven Pounds," both of which star Smith, though reps stress there is presently no involvement. (Columbia, incidentally, also made "Kramer vs. Kramer.")

The Italy-born Muccino has moved fluidly between borders during his career. Although his past two movies have been English-language, U.S.-set tales, he has a background in Italian cinema, directing and writing the middle-class drama "Ricordati Di Me" as well as "L'ultimo Bacio," the Italian film that became the basis for Tony Goldwyn's 2006 Zach Braff starrer "The Last Kiss."

Muccino's "Fathers," an indie feature that doubles as a pilot for Italian television, crossed borders to tell the story of Italian men who were once married to and had children with American women.

"The Italian in New York tends to import a cultural system, and the question is how, with American children, he can find the right way to communicate with American children," Muccino said of that film.

Muccino also has the immigrant tale "Man & Wife" in development at Universal.