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Film News Roundup: Will Smith to Star in Sci-Fi Film ‘Brilliance’ for Paramount

In today’s film news roundup, Paramount sets up another Will Smith sci-fi project, “Distant Harmony: Pavarotti in China” gets re-released and pro-immigrant “The Infiltrators” finds a home.


Paramount Pictures has signed Will Smith to produce and star in a movie adaptation of Marcus Sakey’s dystopian trilogy “Brilliance.”

Akiva Goldsman will write the script and produce with James Lassiter and Shane Salerno. “Brilliance” will be a co-production between Goldsman’s Weed Road, Smith’s Westbrook and Overbrook and Salerno’s the Story Factory.

The story is set in a world where 1% of the children are born with powerful intellectual gifts and demonized by society. A director is not yet on board.

Smith starred in “Aladdin” and will next be seen in Ang Lee’s sci-fi thriller “Gemini Man,” which Paramount opens on Oct. 11. The news was first reported by Deadline.


Giant Pictures, the digital film distribution division of Giant Interactive, will release the 30th anniversary edition of “Distant Harmony: Pavarotti in China” on Sept. 10.

The film covers Luciano Pavarotti’s 1986 performance of “La Bohème” in Beijing. Dewitt Sage directed and produced with John Goberman, founding producer of “Live From Lincoln Center,” and Dan Wigutow.

Popular on Variety

“Luciano Pavarotti was of course, and still is, the most famous opera singer in the world. The film contains unique footage from the great tenor’s tour of China in 1986 and is a must-see for any opera lover,” said Nick Savva of Giant Pictures.


Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired U.S. rights to Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra’s “The Infiltrators.”

The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award: NEXT and the NEXT Innovator Prize. Oscilloscope will release it in theaters before streaming on digital platforms.

The film centers on young immigrants who get detained by Border Patrol, and are put in a shadowy for-profit detention center on purpose. The protagonists are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group on a mission to stop deportations.

“The National Immigrant Youth Alliance are undoubtedly the most important super heroes to grace cinema screens this year and Alex and Cristina have translated their story in a masterfully creative way,” said Dan Berger of Oscilloscope. “Demonstrating both the power of cinema and the artistry of filmmaking in equal measure, ‘The Infiltrators’ is a profoundly necessary film for this time.”

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