post-willsmith.jpgIt’s absurdly early for me to make an Oscar prediction, considering this movie hasn’t been filmed yet, but I expect great things from Empire.

Variety reports Michael Mann will direct Will Smith in this forthcoming film from Columbia Pictures.

Smith will reportedly play a contemporary media mogul, and that’s all the information out there on what the movie will be about.

But John Logan, who wrote both Gladiator and The Aviator, is penning this. Considering how awesome both of those epics were, I’m guessing Empire will be equally compelling.

Director Michael Mann has a lengthy list of cool crime dramas and thrillers to his credit: Collateral, Heat, Manhunter and Miami Vice — to name a few.

(BEFORE you go “Miami Vice sucked!” allow me to say two things: “Fuck you!” and “That’s a topic for another rant.”)

Ahem … Mann also has demonstrated a fascination with the inner workings of the corporate world and mass media. His 1999 film, The Insider cast Al Pacino as the 60 Minutes producer who broke a huge tobacco industry scandal.

The Insider received seven Academy Award nominations. Gladiator and The Aviator won five Oscars apiece.

Will Smith is a gifted and versatile actor with two Oscar noms to his name, one of which was for his last team-up with director Mann in Ali.

Considering the strong team behind Empire, don’t be surprised if we finally get to hear Smith go, “Say hello to my lil’ friend … who’s golden and bald.”

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