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Will Smith is one busy boy. Not only is he currently hard at work promoting his latest film Focus, but he’s also on the cusp of starting production on Suicide Squad, and now he’s signed up for Bounty over at Paramount too.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Will Smith is attached to star in the upcoming action-thriller Bounty, which has been written by Sascha Penn and has just been picked up by Paramount Pictures for development. But what will Bounty entail? Well, it revolves around Big Willie’s leading protagonist, who is convicted of a murder that he insists he did not commit. In fact, he’s so incensed by having to serve time in prison that he decides to breakout and try to prove his innocence. There’s just one catch: the widow of the man that he allegedly killed immediately puts a $10 million bounty on Smith’s head, which she will pay up even if he’s brought to directly to her, dead or alive. I’m going to put $20 on Margot Robbie playing the widow.
The premise for Bounty certainly sounds intriguing. There are elements of Shawshank Redemption to it, with a little bit of The Fugitive and Smokin’ Aces thrown in there too. But it should also see Smith running around protesting his innocence while hoards of people try to kill him just like he did in 1998’s under-rated action-thriller, Enemy Of The State. Unfortunately the always magnificent Gene Hackman won’t be able to help Smith out this time, since he is now officially retired from acting. Meanwhile Enemy Of State’s imperious director, Tony Scott, also isn’t around anymore to mold and helm Bounty - something that it’s still incredibly depressing to even think about just for a millisecond.
At the moment, other than its premise and leading star, it’s still hard to picture just how Bounty will turn out. Very little is known about Bounty’s writer Sascha Penn. THR notes that the screenwriter is currently working on multiple in-development projects at various studios, but he has not yet had a screenplay make it all the way through to release. His upcoming movies include The Idolmaker over at MGM, a firefighter film for Lionsgate, and Yakuza vs Mafia and The Ditch for Good Universe and Warner Bros., respectively. Once one of those movies gets made, or a director comes on-board for Bounty, we’ll get a better idea of what kind of film to expect from the Will Smith-starring actioner.
Will Smith is going to struggle to find time to discuss his vision for Bounty, though. As soon as his press commitments for Focus, which is out on February 27th, come to an end. he will almost immediately start working on the hugely anticipated adaptation of DC Comics' Suicide Squad. And let's not forget that he also has some scheduled promo work due later this year for Ridley Scott's Concussion, which will be released on Christmas Day. At this rate it sounds as though the earliest he will start filming Bounty is either after Suicide Squad wraps in the summer or all the way in January. Either way, don’t expect to see Bounty in cinemas until 2016 or 2017, if not long beyond that.