Thanks to CINE21 who nabbed some early shots of Will Smith in his super-hero suit for his upcoming 2008 release, Hancock, about a "hard-living superhero (Smith) who has fallen out of favor with the public and enters into a questionable relationship with the wife (Charlize Theron) of the public relations professional (Jason Bateman) who's trying to repair his image."
You can see the rest of the images HERE. Nothing terribly special, but I thought some of you movie geeks might appreciate the early showcase.
Can't say that I'm looking forward to seeing this film. I was rather underwhelmed with what I saw in the only teaser trailer that's been circulating online thus far. It's scheduled to be released on the July 4th holiday weekend, a usually important weekend for studios and their summer blockbusters, so, obviously, Sony, the distributor of the film, has extremely high hopes for it. Will I see it? Probably. It's what I do... I see movies... it's in my job description.
Will Smith has certainly taken his whacks over the years, especially from black critics (myself included, although I've certainly taken my foot of the gas pedal, and recognized Mr Smith for the Hollywood star that he is. In doing so, he's become an easier pill for me to swallow, and I pretty much know what to expect from him, and will stop hoping for more. Although, I'm still waiting for that glorious day when he'll surprise me). But he's held up quite well, and has managed to silence much of the critical noise.
That said, I've already begun to hear chants from voices within the black community (specifically black women) chiding Mr Smith for his apparent lack of interest in playing opposite black actresses in leading roles - most recently citing Hancock as an example, in which Charlize Theron plays his love interest. So, it'll be interesting to see how the film is received when it's released later this year. I'm sure it will make tons of money, which is what really counts to those behind the film... but, given what I've already heard (most recently a brief discussion on NPR's News & Notes program), what could the ramifications be for Mr. Smith and his fan base, if there are any at all?
And also, in connection to my ongoing poll on the right, should we expect more from black stars like Will Smith? Should they be held to some higher standard and looked upon as potential leaders in this ongoing fight for equality and diversity in cinema?