Will Smith Finds Brilliance

In talks for a new sci-fi thriller


Just when we thought Will Smith had been burned badly enough by the sci-fi genre with After Earth that he was taking a break, along comes word that he’s in early talks to enter a futuristic world for Brilliance.

First optioned by Oz The Great And Powerful producer Joe Roth last year, Marcus Sakey’s book is an X-Men style fable of a world where one per cent of children are born as savants with special powers. Called “brilliants”, many of them have gone on to do incredible things.

But, naturally, there are a few bad seeds, including one who has turned his powers to terrorism. Our hero (Smith, we assume, if he signs) is a federal agent, and another of the brilliants, who is using his skills to hunt down rogue members of his society. The novel finally hit bookshelves last July, and was the subject of a bidding war that came down to Fox and Legendary, with the latter emerging triumphant.

With Julius Onah aboard to direct from a David Koepp script, Legendary is clearly hoping for big things from this one, perhaps while secretly wishing everyone would just forget After Earth exists. As for Smith, he’ll next be seen in conman tale Focus (which just scored a US release date for February 27, 2015) and is one of the producers of the Annie remake, which dances here in the same year, but a little earlier, hitting screens on February 6.