Jared Leto in Early Talks to Replace Will Smith in BRILLIANCE

by     Posted 40 days ago

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A few weeks ago, Will Smith dropped out of the sci-fi thriller Brilliance.  The film is based on the Marcus Sakey novel of the same name and takes place in a world where one percent of people are born with heightened cognitive abilities, dubbed “brilliants.”  Smith was set to play a federal agent whose gift is put to good use hunting terrorists, but he meets his match when he must track down another “brilliant” who is bent on igniting a civil war.  Noomi Rapace is on board to co-star as “a tattooed and pierced brilliant identified as a terrorist by the government.”

Today, THR is reporting that Jared Leto is in early talks to replace Smith.  After taking a six-year break from acting to focus on his music career, Leto returned to acting and picked up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.  Since then, he’s remained silent on his follow-up project although he has been rumored for as a possible candidate to star in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.  It’s odd to think that Jared Leto’s next movie could be such a big deal, but when you’re following up an Oscar win, choices matter even more.  Just ask Cuba Gooding Jr.

Will Smith Eyes Football Concussion Picture for Writer-Director Peter Landesman

by     Posted 54 days ago

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After recently dropping out of Julius Onah’s Brilliance, Will Smith’s schedule is pretty open.  Sure, he’s got a few announced films, including a Hancock sequel and a third installment of Bad Boys, but his original film slate is pretty empty.  Enter an untitled picture from writer-director Peter Landesman, who adapted the GQ article, “Game Brain.”  The Ridley Scott-produced picture set up at Sony is described as “a drama focusing on the debilitating effects that concussions are having on our sports heroes, and the role that league owners play in allowing it to happen.”  Hit the jump for more on Smith’s potential role.

Will Smith Drops Out of BRILLIANCE

by     Posted 59 days ago

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Will Smith appeared ready to commit to Brilliance as his next project.  Earlier in the month, Noomi Rapace entered talks to co-star and director Julius Onah was gearing up to start shooting this summer.  Smith has instead thrown a wrench in Legendary and Universal’s plans by deciding to drop out.  According to Deadline, “the exit came down to timing.”  The report does not specify, so I wonder which of Smith’s countless projects takes priority if the actor does film something in the coming months.  Smith will next be seen as a grifter in the February 2015 release, Focus.

David Koepp‘s Brilliance script is based on the Marcus Sakey novel of the same name that takes place in a world where one percent of the public (called “brilliants”) are born with heightened cognitive abilities.  Brilliance is the first in a planned trilogy.  Read the book description after the jump.

Noomi Rapace to Star Opposite Will Smith in BRILLIANCE; Octavia Spencer Joins DIVERGENT Sequel INSURGENT

by     Posted 76 days ago

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It appears that Will Smith has committed to his next project.  THR reports that Noomi Rapace is in talks to star opposite Smith in the sci-fi thriller Brilliance, firming up the pic as Smith’s next film.  Scripted by David Koepp (War of the Worlds), the film is based on the Marcus Sakey novel of the same name and takes place in a world where one percent of people are born with heightened cognitive abilities, dubbed “brilliants.”  Smith plays a federal agent whose gift is put to good use hunting terrorists, but he meets his match when he must track down another “brilliant” who is bent on igniting a civil war.  Rapace will play “a tattooed and pierced brilliant identified as a terrorist by the government.”  Julius Onah is directing the Legendary/Universal film, and production is looking to begin this summer.

Hit the jump for a major casting development concerning the Divergent sequel Insurgent.

Jerry Bruckheimer Gives Updates on BAD BOYS 3 and NATIONAL TREASURE 3; Says They Just Received the First Act of NATIONAL TREASURE 3

by     Posted 97 days ago

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Few others can rival the sheer magnitude of franchises that Jerry Bruckheimer has under his belt.  Not only is he behind immensely popular film series like Pirates of the Caribbean, but he’s also the shepherd of the long-running TV shows CSI and The Amazing Race.  While we know that future installments in the Pirates series and the Beverly Hills Cop franchise are firmly in the works, a couple of other lucrative franchises remain in a state of uncertainty.

We recently spoke with Bruckheimer at WonderCon in anticipation of the upcoming horror film Deliver Us from Evil, and during the course of the conversation, the producer gave updates on the status of Bad Boys 3 and National Treasure 3.  He revealed the reason why Bad Boys 3 has been so difficult to get going, and disclosed that he actually just received a draft for the first act of National Treasure 3.  Hit the jump to read his full comments.

Sony Picks up Rights to Max Brooks’ Upcoming Graphic Novel, THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS

by     Posted 142 days ago

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Max Brooks’ last adaptation to hit the screen – World War Z – ended up with a global box office take of over half-a-billion dollars.  Now Sony is hoping lightning strikes twice for Brooks, as they’ve picked up the feature rights to his upcoming graphic novel, The Harlem Hellfighters.  Based on the 369th Infantry Regiment (the first African-American regiment called upon to fight in World War I), the graphic novel follows the soldiers from basic training to the trenches of France, where they spent more time in combat than any other American unit.  Hit the jump for more.

Full List of Oscar Presenters Announced; Includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, and Michael B. Jordan

by     Posted 153 days ago

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After a slow roll-out of announcements that began a few weeks ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the full list of presenters for the upcoming 86th Academy Awards ceremony.  As expected, there are plenty of previous winners poised to make appearances, including all four of last year’s acting winners (Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, and Anne Hathaway), as well as some members of “young Hollywood” to appeal to the younger viewers (Anna Kendrick, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Watson, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum).  On the “legends” side of things, we can also look forward to seeing presentations from Sidney Poitier and Bill Murray.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full list of presenters, and if you missed our latest Oscar-themed episode of our podcast The Collision, click here.  The Oscars will air on ABC this Sunday, March 2nd.

Will Smith in Early Talks to Star in Sci-Fi Thriller BRILLIANCE

by     Posted 157 days ago

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Will Smith’s last two starring roles were for sci-fi oriented films (After Earth and Men in Black 3), and it appears that the actor is keen on continuing that trajectory for his next project.  The Wrap reports that Smith is in early talks to star in the sci-fi thriller Brilliance, which is being developed as a potential tentpole for Legendary and Universal.  The pic is based on the Marcus Sakey novel of the same name and takes place in a world where once percent of people are born with heightened cognitive abilities, dubbed “brilliants.”  Smith would play a federal agent whose gift is put to good use hunting terrorists, but he meets his match when he must track down another “brilliant” who is bent on igniting a civil war.  David Koepp (Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds) penned the screenplay, and Julius Onah (God Particle) is set to direct.  Onah is also developing a separate sci-fi project for Paramount and J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot.

Smith seems like a solid choice to lead this kind of high-concept thriller, and his attachment would certainly put the film on the fast track towards production.  The actor will next be seen onscreen opposite Margot Robbie in the con man pic Focus, which opens next February.  Read a synopsis for Sakey’s Brilliance after the jump.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON Begins with a Slew of Cameos and the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing with Will Smith

by     Posted 159 days ago

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Jimmy Fallon engendered a lot of good will during his time hosting Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and it looks like that will carry over to his new gig hosting The Tonight Show.  It feels like a fresh start that has a good chance of luring a younger audience, or at least an audience that will likely tune in to check out clips the following morning.  For example, during last night’s show, Fallon was welcomed by a string of cameos including Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Seth Rogen, and most notably, Joan Rivers, who was banned by Johnny Carson from The Tonight Show in 1986.  Fallon also had a fun bit where he and Will Smith showed off the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing.

Hit the jump to check out the videos.  The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 11:35pm EST on NBC.

Will Smith Turns Down INDEPENDENCE DAY Sequel

by     Posted 170 days ago

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Well it looks like Roland Emmerich is going to have to use the version of the script that doesn’t include Will Smith, because the star has reportedly decided against appearing in the Independence Day sequel.  The “Will He? Won’t He?” game has been played for a number of years now, and even though a new report states that Smith has decided against starring in the sequel, nothing has been officially confirmed just yet.

The sequel, however, will soldier on with or without Smith.  Emmerich and writing partner Dean Devlin turned two versions of their script over to screenwriter James Vanderbilt: one centering on Smith’s hero character Steven Hiller, and one without him entirely.  Apparently Smith hasn’t broken the final news to Emmerich just yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when we hear more. (Via Deadline)

D.J. Caruso to Direct 20th Century Fox Supernatural Thriller SELLING TIME, Will Smith Circling the Lead

by     Posted 201 days ago

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Director D.J. Caruso (I Am Number Four) is now attached to direct the supernatural thriller Selling Time.  Scripted by Dan McDermott, the story follows a man who is given a chance to relive the worst day of his life in order to avert a tragedy in exchange for seven years off his life expectancy.  It sounds a bit like a mash-up of In Time and Seven Pounds.  That last film is a fitting comparison, since Will Smith is still circling the lead role, although there is no official commitment on his part at this time.  Caruso will also oversee a new draft of the script by McDermott for 20th Century Fox.  (Via Deadline)

Nicholas Stoller to Rewrite Adam McKay’s UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT Starring Denzel Washington and Will Smith

by     Posted 244 days ago

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Warner Bros.’ remake of the 1971 Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier comedy Uptown Saturday Night is getting a rewrite.  Variety reports that Forgetting Sarah Marshall director and Get Him to the Greek scribe Nicholas Stoller has been brought on to pen a rewrite of the script in an effort to fast-track the redo.  The project has a promising pedigree, with Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) onboard to direct and Will Smith and Denzel Washington attached to star.  The original film revolved around two friends who sneak out to visit a high-class illegal club, only to find themselves in hot water.

McKay wants Uptown Saturday Night to be his next film after completing Anchorman 2 and Smith and Washington must both approve of the script before things move forward, so Stoller is hoping to have a draft ready by next month.  If the script delivers, all involved are geared up to start production next summer.

Shawn Levy to Direct THE CITY THAT SAILED for 20th Century Fox, Officially Starring Will Smith

by     Posted 255 days ago

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20th Century Fox has tapped Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) to direct the adventure picture The City That Sailed, now officially starring Will Smith (Independence Day).  Scripted by Audrey Wells (The Game Plan), the story “centers on a father and daughter on the island of Manhattan as it breaks loose and sails across the Atlantic Ocean.”  With Smith as the father, I’ll give you three guesses on who will likely play the daughter.  Hit the jump for more.

Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult Eyed for Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Pic EQUALS; Will Smith Circling SELLING TIME

by     Posted 276 days ago

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Like Crazy writer/director Drake Doremus has developed a reputation for crafting intimate and engrossing relationship dramas using his signature improvisational style, and for his next project the filmmaker plans to apply his talents to the sci-fi genre.  I spoke with Doremus earlier this year at Sundance where he premiered his excellent new drama Breathe In, and the director noted that he planned on venturing “into the futuristic, semi sci-fi love story land,” but utilizing his improvisational style.  Now Deadline reports that Doremus is courting Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult to star in the pic, titled Equals, for an early 2014 production start date.

Plot details regarding Equals are unknown at this point, but Moon scribe Nathan Parker penned the screenplay.  Doremus’ shooting style involves improvising nearly every scene, so if Hoult and Stewart sign on, they’ll have a hefty job ahead of them.  Hit the jump for news concerning Will Smith starring in a supernatural thriller.

Roland Emmerich Says There’s Two Scripts for INDEPENDENCE DAY 2: One with Will Smith and One without Him

by     Posted 276 days ago

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The question of whether or not Will Smith will be in Independence Day 2 continues to churn on.  Four months ago, director Roland Emmerich said Smith wouldn’t be returning for the sequel.  Then two months ago, Smith was apparently in talks to reprise his role as fighter pilot/alien puncher Captain Steven Hiller.  Uncertainty continues to swirl around the project, and it looks like it will move forward with or without Smith.  Emmerich has screenplays to do either, and he’s not afraid to use them.

Hit the jump for more.

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