Marcus Sakey's Brilliance is your next dystopic literature adaptation... and it might actually be OK

The latest in a long, long line of contemporary adaptations of dystopic fiction, Marcus Sakey's Brilliance will almost certainly arrive on cinema screens sooner rather than later. The rights sit with Legendary, the casting rumours and changes (and rumours of changes) have already started and, short of an epic level of development hell, we'll probably see Brilliance at some point in 2016 or 2017.

If you've seen some of the more recent dystopic adaptations, you could be forgiven for thinking that that is not necessarily a good thing.

Sakey's Brilliance though, has potential, and 'franchise potential' at that, meaning it's likely the studio will be well behind it.

For audiences, the lines drawn in the novel see Sakey tread through complex areas such as the manipulation of media, the power centres of the rich and our innate suspicion of things that may seem 'foreign' or 'other'. The way the 'villains' in the novel treat the brilliants (essentially super-powered humans) is reflective of world events today, as are many other parts of the novel.

Sakey's greatest success in this area is perhaps that he doesn't offer too many answers, probably because there aren't any. Nick Cooper, the protagonist, is in no better boat by the end than at any point during the plot; he hasn't found the innate 'good' in the world, probably because things just aren't drawn in the black and white so many novels and films want us to see. There are lots of remaining questions around the group the novel sees as essentially 'good' and questions that Cooper can see, assess and react to.

On the less positive side: this is a novel made for Hollywood. If you choose to read it before the film arrives then you'll spot one of the eventual villains before the end of Part One. The machinations are familiar and well trodden and whoever ends up helming the adaptation will have to look very closely at creating a bit more plot intrigue and emphasising the areas Sakey doesn't spell out.

What they won't need to create is spectacle and set piece. Sakey writes in three pretty significant ones that will look fantastic on film.

For a change with dystopic adaptations of late, I'm looking forward to seeing them.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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