The Pursuit of Happyness was not to everyone’s liking but for what it’s worth I think it’s hugely under-rated and presents some of Will Smith’s best, least-affected work. The director of that film, Gabriele Muccino, who returned to Will Smith for Seven Pounds and now also has Gerard Butler-starring sports drama Playing For Keeps in the bag for release soon, looks set to head off into different territory entirely, with a sci-fi film starring Keanu Reeves now on his radar.
Speaking to THR at the Venice Film Festival, Muccino was far from specific or emphatically committal, but did state his intention to make a sci-fi or thriller film next and wanted Keanu Reeves for a starring role.
Needless to say, wanting Keanu for a starring role and getting him for a starring role are two very different things and although Muccino will have some credibility in Hollywood off the back of his resume, he seems to still be far from being able to cherry pick whoever he wants for his projects. Having said that, it is always good to see directors both stretching their wings in terms of types of film and also being aspirational in who they want to work with. Why not aim high?