Paramount announced that Will Smith has signed on as a producer on the film Brilliance, reports Deadline. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a four-time Emmy- and two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker will direct the film.
The film reunites the Academy-Award winner with filmmaker Akiva Goldsman, who he has worked with on I, Robot, I Am Legend, and Hancock. According to sources, the executives hope that Smith will star in the film but nothing has been confirmed.
The Brilliance novel trilogy is set in a future where non-neurotypical people—those born with powerful gifts—are viewed as abnormal and a threat to the status quo of the “normal” population. These “Brilliants” are carefully tracked by the government. The film's executives hope that Smith will play the hero Nick Cooper, a Department of Analysis and Response federal agent, who hunts down rogue Brilliants who use their gifts for ill. Cooper is a Brilliant himself, 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,” states the film's synopsis “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.”
As a producer on the film, it is Smith’s first role since his Oscars incident with Chris Rock back in March 2022. In his first appearance on social media after a hiatus, Smith apologized to Rock and his family on Instagram.
"I was fogged out by that point. It is all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk,” he said in the post. “When he is, he will reach out. I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk. I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview [she] did, and that was one of the things I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment. I want to apologize to Chris’s mother, I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship.”
A release date for Brilliance has not been set.