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Will Smith lines up a number of projects, including Focus, American Can, and The Accountant

04.19.2013

Will Smith, he made a name for himself originally with his PG-rated rap and as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has come a long way in his career. However, that journey has mostly been in the form of big-budget blockbusters, which isn't a bad thing, but does prove difficult to maintain throughout the years. Smith has done well in that respect, but the problem is that he rarely elevates beyond that. His ventures into drama, including SEVEN POUNDS and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, were fairly well received, but didn't really challenge the actor.

His biggest films have been mostly cheeky, goofy big-budget extravaganza's, from INDEPENDENCE DAY, BAD BOYS (and sequel), HANCOCK, and the three MEN IN BLACK films. Arguably his best performance came from I AM LEGEND, although bad CGI kind of dampened the whole thing.

After a nearly five year hiatus, Smith did MEN IN BLACK 3 and now has M. Night Shyamalan's AFTER EARTH primed for the summer (of which is based on a story by Smith) and is currently filming A WINTER'S TALE with Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly from director Akiva Goldsman. Now, Smith is lining up a number of projects, making him a very busy man for the next few years.

The actor has signed on for the lead role in FOCUS, of which originally was to star Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart (both have since dropped out), where "he’ll play a veteran con man who mentors a young female newcomer to the grifter game for directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra."

He's also set to do AMERICAN CAN, which may be helmed by Ed Zwick (THE LAST SAMURAI), where he'll play a Gulf War Veteran who helps save more than 244 people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by "using his resourcefulness and his military training to get food drops to feed his new friends...eventually finding enough boats to lead them all to safety."

Lastly, Smith is eyeing THE ACCOUNTANT, which originally had Mel Gibson to direct years ago, but fell through. Now, it seems like Smith may be looking to jump back into the role, a "thriller about a government accountant who doubles as an assassin," although Gibson is no longer attached.

Those all seem like some decent choices for the actor, who famously turned down the lead role in Quentin Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED, which most definitely would've been a challenge for the PG-13-friendly actor. I like Will Smith. He's got charm, charisma, physicality, and he can act. It's just a shame he doesn't do more with those abilities, even if he makes bank by doing the minimum.

Which project sounds the most promising to you?

AFTER EARTH hits theaters on May 31, 2013 (moved up a week from its original June 7th slot).

Extra Tidbit: If you visit his IMDB page, almost every future project listed has a number after it.
Source: Deadline

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