Will Smith's near two year absence from the big and small screen has been the longest we've gone without a dose of Big-Willie since he first burst into our living rooms in 1990 with the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It was a non-stop 18 years of getting jiggy with it, with Smith becoming the most bankable actor in Hollywood. Though he raked in big numbers in the summer of '08 with Hancock earning over $624 million worldwide, that year came to a close with the lack-luster box-office take and poor reviews for his drama Seven Pounds.
Aside from a failed attempt to adapt Old Boy, Smith has since shifted his focus to producing non-starring vehicles through his Overbrook banner, including Sony's remake of The Karate Kid, starring his son Jaden.
But Smith is ready to get back to the acting game. Variety reports that he is choosing between two projects to make his next film: Sony's Men in Black III or 20th Century Fox's fantasy-adventure The City That Sailed.
In City that Sailed, Smith would star as a New York street magician who is unhappily separated from his young daughter. The girl is moved to London, but finds magic candles that make her wishes comes true, with unintended consequences: The island of Manhattan separates from the continent and floats toward England, bringing her dad ever closer.
There's no director attached yet, but the screenplay was written by one of my favorite scribes, Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, The Truman Show, The Terminal).
Smith could also grab for the sure fire box-office gold that is the Men In Black franchise. The first MIB (1997) grossed $587.8 million worldwide, while the sequel, MIB II (2002) earned $441.8 million.
Smith would of course be reprising his role as Agent Jay. There has been much more movement on Men in Black III, which was written by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Igor, Idiocracy) and has seen a slew of casting rumors surround it that include Josh Brolin as new MIB agent, and roles for Sacha Baron Cohen and Jemaine Clement.
Would you rather next see Will Smith in another installment of MIB? Or the fantasy adventure THE CITY THAT SAILED?