Per Deadline, Academy Award winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) has signed on to write and produce film adaptations of author Marcus Sakey‘s bestselling Brilliance trilogy.
The book trilogy is set in a future world where “brilliants” – a rare 1% of the population born with superior mental abilities – are carefully tracked by the government. Federal Agent Nick Cooper (himself a “brilliant”) is tasked with using his own gifts to infiltrate a radical group and hunt down another “brilliant” who could plunge the entire country into a devastating civil war.
The Story Factory will produce the films, and will shop the series around, with the books having sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
It’s not the first time the series has been shopped, as it was initially sold to Legendary in a low seven-figure deal as a Will Smith vehicle, before the rights eventually reverted back to the author, who wrote two sequels before taking another crack at Hollywood this time around.
Goldman has also penned scripts for I Am Legend and The Da Vinci Code, and has most recently been working on the sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. He said of signing on to adapt the trilogy:
“It’s rare to find complex characters and deep world building in the same literary work. Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance trilogy does just that. I’m excited to dig in with Story Factory to help generate the movies these wonderful novels deserve”.
“Akiva Goldsman has a remarkable history of creating worlds that are rich both in ideas and in pure entertainment”, Sakey himself said. “He writes deeply compelling films that leave you talking afterward. I’m thrilled he’s writing ‘Brilliance'”.
There’s plenty of potential here, so expect many studios to get in a bidding war for an adaptation of a popular series that already has a franchise built in. Goldsman signing on is a good start, but it will be worth tracking which director and actors eventually join the project to see what possible heights it can hit.