Will Smith to produce and likely to star in Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s narrative feature directorial debut Brilliance from Paramount Pictures.
The movie has been dubbed as a “passion project” for Will and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman – who has collaborated with the actor on movies such as I, Robot, I Am Legend and Hancock. Smith is producing through his company Westbrook Studios with Jon Mone and Ryan Shimazaki. Screenwriter Goldsman and Greg Lessans are producing via Weed Road Pictures, along with Shane Salerno via The Story Factory, and James Lassiter.
Author Marcus Sackey, who wrote the Brilliance novel, is also serving as a co-producer. Sackey also penned sequel novels A Better World and Written in Fire. A report by Deadline dscribes the premise as, “If 1% of the world’s children were born with powerful gifts, how would society adapt to them? The Brilliance novel trilogy is set in a future where non-neurotypical people — demonized by society as “twists” or “abnorms” — are threatening the status quo of the “normal” population with their unique gifts.”
“They are officially labeled as “Brilliants” and are carefully tracked by the government. The plan is for Smith to play the book series hero Nick Cooper, a federal agent who works for the Department of Analysis and Response. His job is to track down and terminate criminal abnorms who use their gifts for ill. The agent is himself an abnorm, with a gift for predictive analysis that allows him to see what will happen before it happens and react preemptively.”
“He is also the father of a Brilliant daughter. As he infiltrates a radical group of Brilliants who plan to incite a civil war, he uses his own gifts against his Brilliant enemies, like an assassin who perceives time faster than his opponents. When Cooper is ordered to hunt down John Smith — the country’s most elusive and most dangerous abnorm — everything Cooper believes in will be called into question. As one of the abnorms he’s hunting tells him, “You can’t stop the future. All you can do is pick a side.””