Jaden Smith attends Nickelodeon's 25th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at Galen Center on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles

*Sony Pictures and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment are in early talks to acquire film rights to Allen Zadoff’s novel “Boy Nobody,” with plans to develop it as a starring vehicle for Jaden Smith.

“Boy Nobody” is the first in a planned young adult trilogy about a brainwashed teenage assassin who starts to regain his emotions. Little, Brown will publish the novel next spring.

Sources tell Variety that the studio beat out 20th Century Fox for the project and has begun negotiations, although they caution that no deal has yet closed. Overbrook found the property and brought it to Sony, where it has a first-look deal.

The book’s main character is reminiscent of a teenage Jason Bourne, with Zadoff describing him as a “young soldier trained not to feel; who could function in every situation without fear, sympathy or anger; who could assassinate strangers and then walk away emotionally unscathed.”

Smith, who previously starred in Sony’s “The Karate Kid” reboot” and “The Pursuit of Happyness,” as well as 20th Century Fox’s remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” He’s now filming M. Night Shyamalan’s Sony pic “After Earth” with his father, Will.