Pakistani-Canadian Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy to Work With Will Smith, Akiva Goldsman in Feature Directorial Debut
- The four-time Emmy- and two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker will helm the sci-fi thriller based on Marcus Sakey’s novel “Brilliance.”
Four-time Emmy- and two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will make her narrative feature directorial debut with a new sci-fi thriller based on the novel “Brilliance,” by Marcus Sakey. The film stars Will Smith and Akiva Goldsman who have previously worked together in “I,” “Robot,” “I Am Legend,” and “Hancock.”
Producers of the film include Smith, Goldsman, Greg Lessans, Shane Salerno, and James Lassiter, with Sakey as co-producer.
“Brilliance” is part one of a trilogy set in a future where non-neurotypical people — demonized by society as “twists” or “abnorms” — are threatening the status quo of the “normal” population with their unique gifts. They are officially labeled as “Brilliants” and are carefully tracked by the government.
According to Deadline, Smith will be seen as the book series hero Nick Cooper, a federal agent who works for the Department of Analysis and Response. While his job is to track down and terminate criminal abnorms who use their gifts for ill, he is himself an abnorm, with a gift for predictive analysis that allows him to see what will happen before it happens and react preemptively. He is also the father of a Brilliant daughter.
Sakey has since published the sequel novels “A Better World” and “Written in Fire.”
Obaid-Chinoy has most recently directed two episodes of the Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel.” She was behind the camera for episode four and five which traced Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan’s origin story. Kamala was seen taking a trip to modern-day Karachi, Pakistan, as well as to the distant past in the form of 1947’s partition of India.
The Pakistani-Canadian journalist, filmmaker and activist, whose documentaries focus on women, children, and other marginalized communities, has gained international acclaim for her work. She is best known for directing her Oscar-winning documentary shorts “Saving Face” (2012) and “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” (2015).
“Though she frequently explores issues afflicting Pakistan, particularly the Taliban and their recruitment of child soldiers, Obaid-Chinoy has worked with refugees all around the world,” her website says. In 2012, she was included in TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list and received the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award at Davos in 2013.