Will Smith to Produce and Possibly Star in Brilliance


Will Smith is producing and possibly starring in the film adaptation of Marcus Sakey’s novel Brilliance.

The project is a passion project of his and Akiva Goldsman, who is on-board to pen the script. The duo teamed up for three of Smith’s previous projects: I, Robot, I Am Legend and Hancock.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the four-time Emmy- and two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker, is making her narrative feature directorial debut with Brilliance.

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Brilliance — which is apart of a trilogy of novels — is set in a world where 1% of the world’s children were born with powerful gifts.

Labeled ‘Brilliants,’ they are carefully tracked by the government who fear how society will deal with superpowered members of the public. And what these ‘Brilliants’ will decide to do with their gifts.

The story follows Nick Cooper, a federal agent tasked with hunting and eliminating “criminal abnorms.” However Cooper and his daughter are abnorms themselves with Nick’s super power being the ability to predict the future. He uses that ability to aid in his search for John Smith, “the country’s most elusive and most dangerous abnorm.” Unsurprisingly, infiltrating a group of rogue Brilliants causes Nick to question which side of the battle is in the right.

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While Smith hasn’t committed to starring in Brilliance,  if he does sign on, he will portray the main character of Cooper.

Sakey has also published the sequel novels A Better World and Written in Fire. So depending on the success of this film, Smith, at the very least as a producer, has another franchise on his hands.

Smith is producing via his company Westbrook Studios with Jon Mone and Ryan Shimazaki. Goldsman and Greg Lessans are producing via Weed Road Pictures. While Shane Salerno via The Story Factory, and James Lassiter are producing. Sakey is also co-producing the film.

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Ahead of this new project, Smith has Emancipation. In that film he plays a hunted runaway enslaved man who struggles to freedom in the dangerous swamps of Louisiana. And Antoine Fuqua-directed the fact-based thriller. While there hasn’t been a release date on the project according to Deadline Apple is determining a release date for that film for December or early 2023.

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