Studios Are Reportedly Putting Will Smith Projects on Hold
The fallout continues from Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock at the Oscars a little over a week ago. Facing an impending vote that could have gotten him suspended or expelled from the group, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday, writing in a statement that his behavior was “shocking, painful, and inexcusable” and claiming he wanted to “put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements.”
Smith could still face additional punishment from the Academy when its Board of Governors meets later this month. And the news is not much better around the film studios either. According to The Hollywood Reporter, several different companies are beginning to distance themselves from Smith, though not publicly.
Their sources claim that last week Netflix was looking for a new director for the film Fast and Loose, which was to start Smith. Its previous director, David Leitch, left the project the week before the Oscars. “Netflix put out an urgent call for another director to take over a project featuring the star who was heavily favored to win best actor at the Oscars,” THR wrote. “But soon after Smith’s attack on Chris Rock on the Oscars stage, Netflix quietly moved the project to the back burner.”
In addition, Sony “will now pause” development on Bad Boys 4, per a THR source. The movie had been in “active development” with a script being written, following the success of Bad Boys For Life back in early 2020. “A few other projects in pre-production are likely to do the same,” the article adds.
While Smith’s career will almost certainly recover, it looks like the perennially popular and bankable star could have some trouble lining up new projects in the immediate future. Or maybe not — while Netflix and Sony were supposedly slowing down work on Smith projects, another one of his upcoming films, a drama titled Emancipation, is still set for a premiere later this year from Apple TV+.