by: Madison Barnes
I have exclusively confirmed that Will Smith is being courted to star in the upcoming religiously-inspired thriller “The 36.”
The project, which is set to be a serial killer story based on the ancient Jewish doctrine that the world needs to maintain 36 righteous individuals in order to exist, could be the perfect rebound for Smith after some slight missteps at the box office. His attachment could instantly raise the film’s profile across the country, riding the wave of biblical films that have recently taken the spotlight. Twentieth Century Fox and Anonymous Content are producing, and that means this is going to be a big-budget thriller that no one can ignore.
With the biblical genre currently trending, it can instantly avoid the pitfalls of an insanely famous story like “Noah,” that everyone knows and has opinions about. Audiences won’t leave disgruntled, at least not on a mass level, if the original story doesn’t perfectly adapt to the different medium. At the end of the day the film will reinforce the core beliefs of a wide population of Americans and would be interpreted by an actor with depth and charisma.
Josh Singer is penning the current version of the script, which has been around for nearly 15 years bouncing between production companies and seeking star talent. Michael Sugar and Bard Dorros are producing, along with Ashley Zalta executive producing for Anonymous and Kira Goldberg overseeing at the studio. The project is a top priority for the Fox, as the time and money already invested into years of development does not want to be lost. They are hoping a firm commitment from Smith can solidify this project’s eventual existence.
While Smith usually makes his success a family affair, there is no early indication that his son, daughter, or wife will appear in the film with him. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if that changes if he accepts the role. When he does films that are close to his heart like “Pursuit of Happyness” or “After Earth,” a family member is almost always involved. He currently has over 25 projects in development in various roles, most notably to star in “Affirmative Action,” a J.J. Abrams directed Disney flick co-starring Ben Affleck.
Regardless of what happens, the mention of Smith’s name in accordance with a project like this is enough to get me excited, and I’m not even a religious person! Smith’s worldwide appeal and depth of character makes him real and tangible amidst Hollywood’s fake, botoxed version of current reality. I’m already waiting to buy advance tickets if he accepts the role – as it would definitely be worth paying the steep price of theater admission to go see. Stay glued to the Tracking Board, as we’ll keep our eyes peeled for the slightest indication of further development and pass it along to you as soon humanly possible!