Leto is in early talks to star in Julius Onah's "Brilliance," the Legendary Pictures adaptation of Marcus Sakey's sci-fi novel, according to a Deadline report.
If Leto does indeed take on the role, he'll play a federal agent with a gift for tracking down bad guys who is sent after a terrorist with designs on civil war. Will Smith had been attached to the role but recently exited due to scheduling conflicts. Noomi Rapace ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") is set to play the female lead.
Playing action hero in a Smith-size movie would mark an interesting change of pace for Leto, who has tended to gravitate toward gritty indie dramas like "Requiem for a Dream" and "Dallas."
Since being crowned an Oscar winner, Leto presumably has his pick of projects or can decide whether he wants to focus on his arena-touring rock band, 30 Seconds to Mars.
Amid his awards-season sweep this year, Leto joked at the Independent Spirit Awards that he was ready to perform a "reverse McConaissance," referring to "Dallas" costar Matthew McConaughey's transformation from rom-com hunk to critically acclaimed serious actor.
"Brilliance" is no romantic comedy, but it could be a mainstream entertainment of a scale unlike anything Leto has done before.
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