Say what you want about The Pursuit of Happyness, but it wasn't a bad movie. Gabriele Muccino's direction was pedestrian at best, yet the movie worked because of Will Smith's Oscar-nominated performance. And little Jaden Smith (real-life son of Will) is possibly the most adorable child actor in years. The movie wasn't quite as good as its promise of being Frank Capra's Kramer vs. Kramer, but it was entertaining -- and for a serious drama it really killed at the box office. Smith may be hoping for his third Academy Award nomination in 2009, as well as his billionth hit, because he's re-teaming with Muccino for a new pic titled Seven Pounds. It will star Smith as a man who finds love while attempting suicide, so it will probably be another BYOK (bring your own Kleenex) film. Aside from Muccino, Happyness' producers, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, James Lassiter and Steve Tisch, are also on board (Smith is also a producer). However, the script is from somebody not associated with the previous film; it was written by sitcom writer Grant Nieporte (8 Simple Rules ... for Dating My Daughter).

Hopefully they can find a role for Jaden, but if not this should be about as good as Happyness. And like I said, it may be Smith's next chance for Oscar. It seems that lately he's becoming the Spielberg of actors, doing an action blockbuster here and a serious, well-acted drama there. Of course, he does the occasional comedy, too, even though his action pics are funny enough on their own. The pattern is working out well for the guy. His follow-up to last winter's Happyness is the apocalyptic action-horror pic I Am Legend, which arrives this December, and then he's got a super-hero movie called Hancock, which bows next year in Smith's typical 4th of July weekend slot. Hancock, which was originally going to be helmed by Muccino,also deals with a guy who is down on his luck, but for a summertime pic, it couldn't possibly be as heart-wrenching as Seven Pounds will likely be. Right? Seven Pounds is set to begin filming in February and is expected for a late 2008 release.
categories Movies, Cinematical