Will Smith film projects halted following Oscars slap
Development on film projects connected to Will Smith have been halted following his altercation with Chris Rock at the Oscars, according to reports.
Last month, the actor struck the comedian on-stage during the Oscars ceremony following a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Following numerous apologies over the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy and described his actions as “shocking, painful, and inexcusable”.
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has quietly halted production on thriller film Fast And Loose following the incident. The film was set to star Smith as a crime boss who loses his memory, only to learn he was living a double life.
It’s claimed Netflix is wary about moving forward with the project in light of Smith’s actions, adding that it is “unclear” whether they’ll attempt to make the film with another lead star and director. David Leitch (Deadpool 2) was originally attached to direct but dropped out a week before the Oscars to helm Fall Guy starring Ryan Gosling.
According to the report, Sony has similarly paused production on Bad Boys 4 which was in active development prior to the Oscars. Apple TV+ also declined to comment regarding the film Emancipation, scheduled to be released in 2022, over a specific release date.
NME has reached out to Netflix and Sony for comment.
Shortly after Smith’s incident at the Oscars, The Academy launched a formal review to “explore further action and consequences”. The matter is set to be a focal point at The Academy’s next board meeting, slated for April 18.
In his statement announcing his resignation from The Academy, Smith wrote: “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.
“So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”