He was the Fresh Prince. Now Will Smith is moving up in the world – he’s going to play a Pharaoh. Smith has signed on to star in The Last Pharaoh as Taharqa, a Nubian pharaoh who ruled over Egypt from 690BC to 664 BC, along the way repelling Assyrian invaders and maybe even, according to something I just looked up on Wikipedia, stopped an army from destroying Jerusalem and therefore helped to shape the Western world.

Smith has wanted to play Taharqa for a while – and, being the biggest movie star in the world, that means what Will Smith wants, Will Smith gets. So Columbia Pictures have backed their man, and will stump up the cash for a movie that will focus on Taharqa’s battle with the Assyrian leader, Esarheddon, and that promises to be truly epic.

Smith, who will also produce through his company, Overbrook Entertainment, has approached Randal Wallace to write the script. It marks a heck of a busy period for Wallace, who last week committed to writing the script for Jerry Bruckheimer’s WWII flick, Killing Rommel. He’s also scheduled to direct a horse-racing drama for Disney.