Will Smith in Talks to Star in Sci-fi Thriller ‘Brilliance’

Published 1 year ago by

Will Smith in Hancock Will Smith in Talks to Star in Sci fi Thriller Brilliance

In the wake of the career hiatus that followed Seven Pounds, Will Smith has been getting back in the groove: specifically, the sci-fi groove. Aside from his cameo in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and his surprise appearance in Winter’s Tale, Smith’s two major recent movies were sci-fi comedy sequel Men in Black 3 and father-son outing After Earth.

One of these movies did a lot better than the other one at the box office (try and guess which one) but neither was a total flop and Smith seems keen to line up other projects along the same lines. One such vehicle for the actor is Selling Time, a thriller about a man who makes a deal to sell seven years of his life in exchange for a chance to prevent a terrible and life-changing event; according to a new report, Smith is also eyeing up another interesting opportunity.

According to a report by TheWrap, two sources familiar with the project have said that Smith is in early talks to star in Brilliance, a sci-fi thriller from Legendary Pictures which has Julias Onah (The Girl is in Trouble) set to direct. If he does end up cast as the lead, Smith will play FBI agent Nick Cooper, whose superhuman cognitive abilities make him exceptional at the art of hunting down terrorists. His powers are probably going to be slightly less ostentatious than those he demonstrated as a down-and-out superhero in Hancock, but they nonetheless mark him as a member of a group of people who are feared and distrusted by the general population.

Brilliance Movie Will Smith in Talks to Star in Sci fi Thriller Brilliance

For comic book fans, the idea that this promise will likely bring most immediately to mind is X-Men, but in Screen Rant’s interview with Marcus Sakey, the author of the novel upon which the film is based, he said that the two stories are very different:

“On one level it’s very flattering. On the other hand, I don’t really think the comparison is all  that apt. The idea of stories about supermen among us, frankly doesn’t begin with ‘X-Men.’ ‘X-Men’ belongs in that category along with a bunch of other things. To me, while ‘X-Men’ is great, I don’t think they’re all that similar. What I was more interested in was this sort of social novel aspect. What happens to the world? How does the world react? How does our easy xenophobia play out when it’s our sons and daughters? And really just pushing the impact of the gifts through a real world filter.”

If screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park) sticks with Sakey’s approach in the adaptation, Brilliance will likely end up as a more grounded breed of science fiction, especially since the story courts the sensitive issue of terrorism. With that in mind, the X-Men films have definitely had their own share of social commentary.


We’ll keep you updated on Brilliance as the project develops.

Source: TheWrap

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Brilliance
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  1. screw u will smith !!!

  2. “Aside from his cameo in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and his surprise appearance in Winter’s Tale”

    Thanks for spoiling… d-bag.

    • Not really a spoiler.

      The movie’s called “A New York Winter’s Tale” over here and on Tuesday night, Film 2014 reviewed it and revealed that Will Smith was not only in the movie but gave the best performance in it, despite only a brief scene or two.

      As far as Anchorman 2, we knew there’d be a lot of cameos so being spoiled about the appearances in that movie shouldn’t really be a problem unless it’s a pivotal moment in the plot, which is highly doubtful.

      Good going though, your role as an immature, insult-wielding troll is inspired. You must have done a lot of method acting to prepare.

      On topic though, this sounds like it could be cool but I’m gonna have to wait until a trailer releases before making judgments because After Earth looked terrible despite having a premise that could’ve been nicely done.

      • It is kind of a spoiler, but I agree that it probably isn’t a big plot point in Anchorman.

      • It is kind of a spoiler, to me the best cameos are those I never saw coming and this has now been ruined for me a little. That said I’m sure the writer of this article didn’t mean anything by it, but I would have suggested writing something like “aside from a few surprise appearances” so as to avoid any issues.

  3. Nothing new here. I’ll pass.

  4. Will Smith isn’t getting another penny from me.

    • +1

      You sure? For 2 cents he’ll throw in Jaden! No takers?……………anyone?

  5. Sounds interesting, nice to see smaller niches being explored within the larger realm of superhero/meta-humans. May need to give the book a look.

  6. I am one of maybe one and a half people that enjoyed After Earth. It was OK for me, which isn’t good, but definitely isn’t terrible. I am also a huge Will Smith fan so maybe that had something to do with it.

    Anyways, all that to say that I was interested in this film before Will got interested. Now if he signs on it will automatically go on my anticipated list without me ever seeing a trailer.

  7. Ha! Will Smith, the superego of superegos finally put it his subtle arrogance in a film title, Brilliance! How fitting. I’d like him his director be Paul W.S. Anderson so this movie flops and kills two birds with one stone.

  8. I used to like Will Smith. Now, I just don’t dislike him. I’d prefer that his son Jaden, however, get a real-world education before he continues in film. He clearly conveys as having an inflated ego, no doubt facilitated by his parents’ influence in the movie industry.

  9. Will Smith is going to go the Nic Cage straight to DVD route if he continues with these bad choices. Go tell Emmerich you’ll gladly do ID4 II if they make him POTUS Steven Hiller, take a meeting with both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. (T’Challa or John Stewart, respectively), and see if HBO has cast season two of “True Detectves” yet.

  10. There’s only one thing worse than a Will Smith movie…and that’s a Will Smith movie…where he’s forcing his kids to act like planks of wood on us poor cinema goers !