Apparently, if you can’t have one of the biggest international superstars currently trying to reclaim his box office clout, you’ll go with an Oscar winning rock god instead. A few weeks ago, we reported that the ever waffling Will Smith had dropped out of the adaptation of Marcus Sakey’s popular novel ‘Brilliance.’ The former Fresh Prince cited “timing” issues as his reason for bailing, though it was unclear what competing effort had his attention (turns out, it has something to do with the NFL and the concussion issue). Hoping to start filming this Summer, the David Koepp scripted, Julius Onah directed project needed a replacement. Apparently, a stand-in was as close as the angry red planet?
Indeed, the answer seems to be Jared Leto. The recent Academy Award recipient for Best Supporting Actor and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman is, according to Deadline.com, “in talks” (perhaps we journalists need to come up with another term for such negotiations) to take over for Smith. Nothing is confirmed, but if so, it will be yet another unusual move for a highly unusual actor. Leto has certainly lead a very idiosyncratic professional career. He stared out in the arts, moved over to acting (where he gained his first notice in TV shows like ‘My So-Called Life’) and landed his first important leading role as runner Steve Prefontaine in the similarly titled biopic. After forming his band in 1998, his career exploded, moving through memorable roles in ‘Fight Club,’ ‘American Psycho,’ ‘Requiem for a Dream,’ and ‘Panic Room.’
Recently, he’s been more focused on his music. In fact, ‘Dallas Buyers Club‘ was his first film back after almost five years and something like ‘Brilliance’ seems perfect for his quirky persona. The plot synopsis would see Leto playing a member of the 1% know as “brilliants” (think X-Men with less flash and more subtle special abilities). These people are born with heighted cognitive powers. Leto’s character is named Nick Cooper and he’s a federal agent on the trail of another “brilliant” who just so happens to be a bloodthirsty terrorist. The baddie’s motive seems to center around starting a new Civil War. With Noomi Rapace attached to play the female lead, everything is in place. All Universal needs now if for Leto to sign on the dotted line.