Jared Leto To Replace Will Smith In ‘Brilliance’

Jared Leto in Brilliance

It’s funny to see just how much Jared Leto’s career has changed over the course of a year. Back then, Leto was only starting to receive a buzz based solely on his appearance in Dallas Buyers Club. At that point, no one had seen Leto’s performance, and for the most part, aside from his supporting role, the actor was still a full-time musician for his band, 30 Seconds to Mars.

Fast forward a year and he’s now clutching an Oscar statue for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Not only that, but he’s making a return to acting in a big way. Although he claimed that it would take a very special project to get him to return to acting on a regular basis, it looks like Leto is considering a whole slew of acting projects these days. One of those projects will see him replace action star Will Smith in Brilliance.

Having Jared Leto take over Will Smith’s role adequately describes the climate surrounding the film. Smith’s last venture as an action star, which was his go-to schtick, saw him in a colossal failure called After Earth. The film was poorly directed by M.Night Shyamalan as an ill-conceived conversation piece on Scientology.

After the disaster of his last project, Smith was not in the best position to lead off an action film. Jared’s success, on the other hand, proves that one fantastic turn in an independent film can open up new doors of opportunity.

As stated, according to HitFix, Leto will star in Julius Onah’s high-concept thriller, Brilliance, instead of Smith. Also joining the 42-year-old actor is Noomi Rapace, though her role is not yet known.

According to the report, Brilliance is an adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name by Marcus Sakey.

“Brilliance tells the story of a federal agent on the tail of a deadly terrorist with designs on starting a civil war — the twist is that the hunter and hunted are both ‘brilliants,’ a special subset of phenomenally gifted human beings, and the agent’s chase will entail betraying his own kind.”

Originally, Will Smith was going to play the lead, but dropped out and took a football-themed role over at Sony. Last week, Variety reported that Smith’s NFL concussion drama, based on the GQ article “Game Brain,” is still on schedule.

As for Leto, another project he’s currently laboring over is whether or not he will be able to take on the role of Doctor Strange in the next Marvel film.

[Image via Jared Leto]