Will Smith is slated to produce an adaptation of Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance, alongside director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. The gig is the first to be announced following his now-infamous incident with Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
The Brilliance novel follows Nick Cooper, a federal agent who is tasked with tracking down non-neurotypical people deemed “abnorms,” or “Brilliants,” who are born with special powers. Nick is the parent of a “Brilliant” daughter and is also an “abnorm” himself. With the ability to see the future, Cooper tries to stop an impending civil war.
According to Indie Wire, the novel-turned-film will be produced by Paramount Pictures and is a “passion project” for Smith and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. The two have worked together on Smith’s critically-acclaimed films I, Robot, I Am Legend, and Hancock.
Smith will be producing the film through his own Westbrook Studios with Jon Mone and Ryan Shimazaki. Screenwriter Goldsman and Greg Lessans will assist with production through Weed Road Pictures, along with Shane Salerno of The Story Factory, and James Lassiter. Sackey will also serve as a co-producer.
This film hopefully marks an upward turn for Smith, whose walk towards redemption was caused by slapping Rock at the live telecast of this year’s Academy Awards. Smith has since issued an apology to Rock and the Academy following the scrutiny he’s received.
“Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work,” the King Richard actor expressed in a video back in July. Smith claimed to have been “fogged out” at the Oscars after his attack on Rock. In addition to Brilliance, Smith’s AppleTV+ film Emancipation is rumored to be released this December.