Will Smith getting biblical with it… maybe.

There has been so much buzz lately about Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and various other biblical projects in the works, that I almost forgot that Will Smith was attached to star in a movie about Cain a couple years ago. Yesterday, however, Deadline Hollywood brought it back to mind by reporting that Smith might not only star in the film, but direct it as well. (If he does, it would mark his feature directorial debut; his only previous turn in the director’s chair, as far as the IMDb is concerned, was for a 2006 episode of All of Us.)

There’s a twist, though. Two years ago, the movie was called The Legend of Cain and it was said that the film would be an “epic re-telling of the Biblical sibling tale, this time with a vampiric twist.” Whether that meant Cain himself was going to be the vampire, or simply someone who battles a lot of vampires (a la Smith’s similarly-named film I Am Legend), was never clarified, as far as I can tell.

Now, however, the movie has the working title The Redemption of Cain, and… there is no mention of vampires whatsoever. It is simply described as “a film about battling brothers Cain and Abel” — though that’s not to say that vampires won’t figure into the story somehow, when all is said and done.

Incidentally, this is not the only film with some sort of biblical tie-in on Will Smith’s to-do list. Last year, Paul Tamasy, one of the co-writers behind The Fighter, revealed that he and his writing partner Eric Johnson were developing a modernized version of the Book of Job for Smith, called Joe:

It’s about a man [who is living] the American dream. He’s got the nice house, white picket fence, great kids, great wife, nice cars. God and the devil get together every thousand years to bet on a man’s life, and the fate of the world is at stake.

What all of us get hit with in a lifetime, this man gets hit with in one week. And it’s about whether or not he can still pick himself up from that and survive it. It’s a dramedy. At it’s heart, it’s a comedy — but it’s got, obviously, a real dramatic core to it.

And four years ago, Smith hired Randall Wallace to write The Last Pharaoh, a film about the Nubian king-of-Egypt Taharqa, who gets a brief mention in the Bible during the Assyrian invasion of Judea.

Whether any of these projects will end up on the screen is an open question, of course. But it’s interesting to see that Smith keeps circling back to this sort of material.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • demples212

    I WISH THAT THAT WILL WOULD FILM LAST PHAROAH TAHARQA, BECAUSE WHEN HISTORY CHANNEL M,AKE MOVIES ABOUT EGYPT, THEY ALL WAYS USE CACASIANS THEY NEVER USE BLKS, SO THE AVERAGE PERSON WHO DONT KNOW HISTORY , WHO HAVE NOT WENT TO THE LIBRARY, AND LOOK AT STATUES KNOW THAT EGYPT WAS A BLK NATION, THE EUROPEAN DID NOT COME TO EGYPT UNTIL 300 BC. THE EGYPT HAd been establish ABOUT 3000 YEARS BY THEN , THE PYRAMIDS HAD BEEN BUILT BY THEN,ONE OF THE SONS OF HAM, GRANDFATHER NOAH , HAM SON MIZRAM ESTABLISH EGYPT,CUSH ESTABLISH ETHIEOPIA, THEY NEVER ACKOWLEDGE EGYPT IS IN THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA, IN THE EAST POSITION, LIKE NEW YORK ,IN THE EAST POSITION OF U.S.HISTORY HAS TO BE RETAUGHT, BECAUSE ITS BEEN BUILT ON LIES, I READ THAT HALLE BERRY IS GOING TO MAKE THE FILM HANNIBAL, THE ANCIENT AFRICAN WHO WENT TO ITALY WITH HIS ELEPHANTS. GOOD FOR HER, AFRICA IS IN THE BIBLE IN GENESIS, WENT GOD SAID A RIVER WENT OUT OF THE GARDEN EDEN .CALLED GIHON IT ENCOMPASSTHE WHOLE LAND OF CUSH. AFRICA IS A OLD NATION, U S, WAS ESTABLISH IN THE 1600 s when the EUROPEANS CAME, AND TOOK LAND, EGYPIANS WERE LIVING IN MANSION AT THAT TIME.