Marcus Sakey’s sci-fi novel Brilliance won’t be published until August of this year, so it’s possible that the script for Legendary Pictures’ film adaptation might already be complete by the time the book hits shelves. The studio acquired the film rights last month and is apparently wasting no time in getting development on the project underway.

The studio’s eagerness might have something to do with a desire to strike while the superhero genre is hot, as comparisons have already been drawn between Brilliance and the X-Men franchise.

Brilliance is set in an alternate 1980s universe where 1% of the population is born with a genetic mutation that gives them special powers. The main character, Nick Cooper, is a federal agent in possession of such powers, who has been assigned to track down a “brilliant” who is intent on starting a civil war.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that David Koepp (Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull) has signed on to write the script for the film, which is being produced by Oz, the Great and Powerful team Joe Roth and Palek Patel with Legendary’s Alex Hedlund overseeing the project.

Koepp has adapted novels for film before, including Richard Matheson’s Stir of Echoes and Stephen King’s Secret Window (both of which he also directed), and his latest novel-based movie – Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, which stars Chris Pine in the title role – will be out in theaters later this year.

It’s not only his experience with adaptation that makes Koepp a strong choice for screenwriter on Brilliance, though; over the course of his career he has written the scripts for extremely successful films like Jurassic Park, Spider-Man and Mission: Impossible (all films that were adapted from another medium). Then again, he (probably) also wrote this line.

The choice of such a bankable writer certainly suggests that Legendary is serious about pursuing Brilliance as a major release, and it isn’t the only Marcus Sakey novel scheduled to show up on the big screen in the future. Of the four other novels he’s written, three have already had their film rights sold, with Ben Affleck producing an adaptation of his debut The Blade Itself and Tobey Maguire producing his second publication Good People.

Are you interested in seeing a more grounded approach to the superhero genre? Does the synopsis for Brilliance make you want to pick up a copy of the book when it’s released in August? Share your thoughts on this X-Men-meets-Blade Runner story in the comments.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest Brilliance news as it develops.

Source: THR