The role, playing a 'brilliant' with heightened human abilities, would be the actor's first since winning an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club
Jared Leto, who won a best supporting actor Oscar this year, is lining up his first role since the win: the lead in Brilliance, a supernatural thriller from the studio behind Godzilla, the Dark Knight movies and the Hangover franchise.
Brilliance, adapted from Marcus Sakey's novel saga, features the slightly X-Men-like central conceit of 'brilliants', members of the population with exceptional skills like becoming invisible or predicting the stock market. The story focuses on one such brilliant, a federal agent and detector of terrorists, who must hunt down a rogue brilliant intent on causing civil war.
Will Smith was originally signed up for the lead, but has dropped out to star in Ridley Scott's forthcoming film on concussions in American football, inspired by Jeanne Marie Laskas's 2009 GQ article Game Brain.
Now Leto could step in, according multiple sources at the Hollywood Reporter and Variety. He has apparently met with the film's director, Julius Onah, and would star opposite Noomi Rapace if he signs on. Star screenwriter David Koepp, who wrote Jurassic Park, Spider-Man and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, will pen the script.
Leto's acting career took off with his heartthrob role in teen TV series My So-Called Life before graduating to grittier roles in films like Requiem For a Dream and Panic Room (which Koepp also wrote). He formed a band, 30 Seconds to Mars, but unlike most film stars' musical projects, it actually came to eclipse his previous career – he took six years off acting to focus on the band, who have sold millions of records and frequently tour the world.
He was tempted back to acting by the role of Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, a transgender drug addict trying to fight Aids. He and Matthew McConaughey, who took the lead, both won Oscars for their performances.
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