Will Smith Lands First Major Project Six Months After Oscars Slap

Will Smith is reportedly all set to star and produce the upcoming film Brilliance with Paramount Pictures.

Will Smith appears to make his acting return nearly six months after infamously slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage at the 94th Academy Awards. According to recent reports, the actor is being eyed to star in filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s feature directorial debut, Brilliance, with Paramount Pictures.

Described as Smith’s ‘passion project,’ he will also produce the project with his longtime collaborator, director Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman is behind a number of Smith-starring features, such as I, Robot, I Am Legend and Hancock. Despite it being a potential career comeback, Smith ‘hasn’t confirmed’ to star in the film as of yet. Goldsman’s script was adapted from the novel of the same name by author Marcus Sakey.

The upcoming film will centers on 1% of the human population that, since 1980, have been born with extraordinary abilities. The hope is for Smith to portray the film’s protagonist, federal agent Nick Cooper. “He’s a ‘brilliant’ working for the Department of Analysis and Response who’s used his abilities to track down terrorists. When he’s faced with his most dangerous target yet, a fellow brilliant with a thirst for destruction, Cooper ‘will have to violate everything he believes in and betray his own kind,” according to the synopsis.

Smith will produce Brilliance through his company Westbrook Studios along with co-president Jon Mone and producer Ryan Shimazaki. As for Goldsman, the acclaimed director will partner with producer Greg Lessans via Weed Road Pictures as well as The Story Factory’s Shane Salerno and Overbrook Entertainment’s James Lassiter. Director Obaid-Chinoy has racked up an impressive resume of TV work and short films, including the Academy Award-winning shorts Saving Face and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.

ALSO READ Will Smith Celebrates Wife Jada Pinkett’s 51st Birthday

Though this may be Smith’s acting return, the star has already nabbed his first project since making waves at this year’s Academy Awards. He was captured on the set of the forthcoming National Geographic and Disney+ docuseries, Welcome To Earth, in Ecuador earlier this month. The repentant actor also travelled to India in April and was spotted in Zanzibar, Tanzania in May with his wife Jada Pinkett, 50, where they worked on projects at District Hospital in Bagamoyo.