Will Smith Goes Literary with "Algernon"

11/10/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Will Smith, known for his dramatic endeavors like "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "Ali" (both of which earned him Best Actor Oscar nominations) as well as more action-oriented crowd-pleasers like "Independence Day," appears to have no intention of quitting this balancing act anytime soon. With possible follow-ups to "Hancock," "I, Robot," and "I Am Legend" on the way, Smith also seems to be looking toward more serious fare with a starring role in "Flowers for Algernon," an adaptation of the Daniel Keyes novel and short story of the same name.

Pajiba explains the plot of the oft-adapted literary work:

"The short story (and the subsequent novel) is about Charlie, a mentally retarded man who is the first human test subject for an experimental surgery that artificially increases intelligence. The experiment had already been performed successfully on Algernon, a lab mouse. Charlie’s newfound intelligence (his IQ skyrockets from 68 to 185), however, comes at the cost of his ability to socialize normally, as he becomes increasingly alienated from those around him. Emotional consequences are involved when Charlie learns the truth of the experiment."

With Smith and Steven Spielberg's planned American remake/adaptation of Chan-wook Park's cult classic "Oldboy" rumored to be down the tubes, this might be Smith's next best bet at both critical and fiscal success. I'd be lying if I said I'm not disappointed "Oldboy" didn't work out. A lot of fans of the original were up in arms at the thought of a remake, but it was never a favorite of mine in the first place, and the thought of Spielberg putting his own unique spin on it was very intriguing to me. But I digress.

Regardless, Smith is a wonderful actor, and if he manages to pull off such a challenging and unique role he's sure to get another Oscar nomination and possibly even the win he's been working at for two decades.

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