This past week has been a whirlwind for Will Smith. After Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, the actor has experienced heavy backlash (and some support) from Hollywood and the general public. There have been a number of developments since the awards show last Sunday, with the latest being the confirmation that Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Now, it would seem that two of his upcoming movies have experienced setbacks.
Last summer, it was reported that Will Smith would headline a thriller for Netflix called Fast & Loose. It’s now been reported, however, that the streaming giant has quietly put the movie on the back burner. As THR mentioned, this isn’t only the blow to the production as, only a week before the incident at the Oscars, director David Leitch had dropped out in favor of another project at Universal. The trade’s sources allege that the studio had been competing with the streamer for Leitch’s services and ultimately emerged victorious.
Before Fast & Loose, a film that was set to center on an amnesiac crime boss, was put on hold, Netflix was reportedly seeking to find a new director. The sources claim the streaming service was making this a priority, as the lead actor continued to gain praise for his work in King Richard amid awards season.
It would also seem that one of Will Smith’s high-profile productions at Sony has also been paused. THR reports that development on Bad Boys 4 will remain at a standstill for the time being. The highly anticipated sequel was previously reported to be in development shortly after the release of the financially and critically successful third installment in 2020. The trade mentions that Smith had been given 40 pages of the screenplay just ahead of the Academy Awards.
The star also has other projects that are in varying stages of production. His historical drama, Emancipation, is in post, though Apple TV+ has apparently not officially dated the film, which was thought to be released this year. There’s also the recently confirmed I Am Legend sequel to consider, which is also set to star Michael B. Jordan.
Following the Oscars, Will Smith formally apologized to Chris Rock, who declined to press charges against him. More alleged details about the eventful evening have been reported since then, with the Academy claiming this past week that Smith was asked to leave the show following the incident. Another report, however, has since called out the organization’s story. The telecast’s producer, Will Packer, has also shed some light on what was going on behind the scenes when the slap occurred.
How the Academy Awards debacle affects Will Smith’s career in the long term remains to be seen. But given this latest report, there’s a possibility that news on his other business dealings could surface sooner rather than later.