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Will Smith to star in a modern retelling of the Biblical story of Job?

02.28.2011

It's hard to believe that MEN IN BLACK III will mark the first time we see Will Smith in a movie in over three years. That seems almost too long for an actor of his position. But once the former Fresh Prince is finally done donning the black suit and shades and ready for more, what might his next project be?

In an interview with the Movie B.S. podcast (via Collider), Oscar-nominated writer Paul Tamasy (THE FIGHTER) dropped the news that he has sold a project to Sony - a modern retelling of the Biblical tale of Job - with Will Smith attached to play the good guy who has a lot of bad shit happen to him.

The movie will be titled JOE (since presumably not many people are named 'Job' nowadays) and it will be produced by Smith's Overbrook production shingle. Here's scribe Tamasy with more on Smith's attachment:

"Heíll be playing 'Joe.' The movie's 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 itís 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 ó but it's got, obviously, a real dramatic core to it."


If you didn't spend your formative years attending Sunday school, here's the Biblical account of Job (via Wikipedia):

"The Book of Job begins with an introduction to Job's character ó he is described as a blessed man who lives righteously. Satan challenges Job's integrity, proposing to God that Job serves him simply because God protects him. God removes Job's protection, allowing Satan to take his wealth, his children, and his physical health in order to tempt Job to curse God. Despite his difficult circumstances, he does not curse God, but rather curses the day of his birth. And although he protests his plight and pleads for an explanation, he stops short of accusing God of injustice."

Almost a year ago before officially signing onto MEN IN BLACK III, Smith was seriously considering making the Andrew Niccol-scripted THE CITY THAT SAILED. Has that project fallen by the wayside in the time since? Smith's also been linked to the Wachowski's modern retelling of the Robin Hood tale called HOOD, as well as another Biblical tale (with a vampire twist) called THE LEGEND OF CAIN.
Extra Tidbit: For a good 'Job' retelling, watch the Coens' A SERIOUS MAN.
Source: Movie B.S.

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