Jared Leto to Replace Will Smith in Legendary’s ‘Brilliance’

In what would mark his first major role since winning the best supporting actor Oscar for his perf in “Dallas Buyers Club,” Jared Leto is in talks to star in Legendary’s “Brilliance,” sources tell Variety.

He would be replacing Will Smith, who was forced to leave the project for the lead role in the untitled Ridley Scott-produced pic on concussions in the NFL.

The talks are still early as Leto just met with director Julius Onah, but if a deal goes through, he would star alongside Noomi Rapace.

Joe Roth, Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing. Palak Patel, Eric McLeod and Alex Hedlund exec produce.

Universal will distribute as part of its first-look deal with Legendary.

David Koepp penned the script based on the Marcus Sakey novel that’s set in a world where 1% of the children born are savants (aka “brilliants”) with special powers. A federal agent who has become a master hunter of terrorists must track down a savant terrorist who intends to start civil war.

Sakey’s novel was published by Thomas and Mercer, an imprint of Amazon, in August 2013. “Brilliance” is the first of a planned three-book series, with the second book being released today.

He is repped by CAA.

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