Will Smith: First project since Oscar slap?

Since his notorious slap in the face on stage at this year's Oscars, Will Smith (53) has been in a kind of Hollywood limbo.

Will Smith: First project since Oscar slap?

Since his notorious slap in the face on stage at this year's Oscars, Will Smith (53) has been in a kind of Hollywood limbo. His latest film, slavery drama "Emancipation," is already finished, but streaming service Apple TV is still delaying its release. The former superstar has not had any new engagements since the Oscars – but that may change soon. As "Deadline" reports, Smith is producing the sci-fi film "Brilliance" with his company Westbrook Studios - and may also play the leading role. However, the latter is currently not certain.

The project that has now been announced is based on the "Brilliance Trilogy" (2013-2016) by US writer Marcus Sakey (48). It takes place in a world where children are born with special, supernatural abilities. These people make up one percent of the population, and are called "abnormals" or "geniuses." Nick Cooper, the hero of the story, is also an abnormal and can see into the future. This greatly aids Cooper in his crime-fighting work. He is assigned by the US government to hunt down the most dangerous terrorist in the United States, who is also an abnormal.

As "Deadline" further reports, two-time Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (43) will take a seat in the director's chair on "Brilliance". Obaid-Chinoy previously directed two episodes of the Marvel series Ms. Marvel and received her Oscars for short documentaries. Akiva Goldsman (60), who is also on board as a co-producer, is responsible for the screenplay for "Brilliance". Goldsman and Smith previously collaborated on the hit films I, Robot (2004), I Am Legend (2007) and Hancock (2008).

Will Smith was set to star in an adaptation of the novel Brilliance back in the 2010s, but the project fell through before filming began and the film rights reverted to the author. So now Smith gets another chance to play the character Nick Cooper. Meanwhile, the film "Emancipation" could still be released in December of this year or at the beginning of next year, as "Deadline" also claims to have found out.

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