Will Smith has chosen his next starring role, and he found it in the only source material grand enough for Hollywood’s last true movie star: the Bible. Smith is attached to star in The Legend of Cain, a re-telling of the murderous sibling rivalry in the book of Genesis; Smith will produce with wife Jada Pinkett Smith, James Lassiter, and Ken Stovitz under his Overbrook Entertainment banner. Deadline reports that the script from Caleeb Pinkett and Dan Knauf (Carnivàle) has a “vampiric twist”, though the nature of the revision is unspecified. There is no studio or director on board, but with Smith reporting to the Men in Black III production in August, there is ample time to position Cain as his follow-up effort. More after the jump:
We have made plenty of “What Will Smith Might Do Next” lists over the last year, but no iteration has The Legend of Cain on it. Our latest rundown, in an article about Smith’s development of a biopic on modern day explorer/neuroscience professor Dr. S. Allen Counter, looked like this:
- a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspcicion
- a remake of Uptown Saturday Night with Denzel Washington
- an adaptation of Flowers for Algernon with Steven Spielberg
- the adventure fantasy The City That Sailed with I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence
Details are scarce at this point. While Cain could theoretically hit theaters prior to the May 25, 2012 release of MIB III were Mr. Smith so inclined, the project could also be filed among all the other projects to which the actor is likewise “attached.” The nepotism of the recent Karate Kid remake, which Smith clearly produced as a vehicle for son Jaden, did not go unnoticed by film critics. Should I read anything into the fact that Cain co-writer Caleeb Pinkett is Smith’s brother-in-law?
It’s definitely not the least interesting project on the list. Depending on how this “vampiric twist” plays out, its stock could rise even further in my (admittedly irrelevant) eyes. But I’d love to eventually see The City That Sailed in theaters. Here’s a brief synopsis of the script from Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show):
The story follows a New York City street magician whose daughter, because of family circumstances, lives in England. In exploring a lighthouse one day, the girl discovers a room with magic candles and wishes to be reunited with her father, causing the island of Manhattan to break away and drift across the Atlantic.
Smith is currently promoting The Karate Kid internationally, so hopefully some savvy Euro journalists can get the actor talking. Seven Pounds wasn’t the utter failure its reputation sometimes makes it out to be, but the next year or so in Smith’s acting career will justifiably be evaluated as a response to the film’s tepid reception. I’m itching to see how everything pans out.