Will Smith Returns to Sci-Fi with Superpowered 'Brilliance' Adaptation
Though we just heard Will Smith likely wasn't returning for Independence Day 2, that doesn't mean he's not looking to get back into sci-fi. Last year we learned that Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures were teaming to adapt Brilliance, a sci-fi novel from Marcus Sakey. But at the time, the book had yet to hit shelves and a writer and director weren't on board. Now The Wrap has word that Julius Onah (God's Particle) will direct the film with a script from Jurassic Park and Mission: Impossible writer David Koepp. And guess what? Smith is in early talks to lead the film as a superpowered federal agent. Read on!
Here's the official synopsis of the book:
In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called “brilliants,” and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in—and betray his own kind.
There are three total books planned in a series, so this could be the start of another sci-fi franchise for Smith to follow Men in Black. The story doesn't sound too far removed from the alien blockbuster franchise either. This one just has superpowers instead of a bunch of extra terrestrials. Whenever Smith gets on board a sci-fi film like this, it turns into a tentpole, but those kind of films have also been hit or miss. The story at least sounds grounded, and sounds a lot like the graphic novel series Rising Stars from J. Michael Straczynski, just with a different setting and not so epic stakes. Stay tuned as the project develops. Sound good?