Will Smith’s next two films have been paused or shelved indefinitely

Will Smith is still dealing with the aftermath of The Slap. One week ago, it was the biggest story around. Today it feels much less scandalous, much less urgent, not least because a full predator like Louis CK won a Grammy last night. Still, the fact that Will smacked Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars means that Hollywood is not done with punishing Will. His next projects have been indefinitely shelved. One of his next projects was supposed to be Bad Boys 4, but it has been “put on ice” for the time being. Will was also supposed to do a Netflix movie but that’s been shelved too:

The week before the Oscar ceremony, director David Leitch — in a stroke of unintentional good timing — withdrew as the director of a planned Netflix movie Fast and Loose, starring Will Smith. Instead, he moved onto Fall Guy, starring Ryan Gosling, for Universal, which is supposed to start production in August.

A source says Netflix was competing with Universal to be the next project for Leitch, but Universal pulled ahead. According to sources, 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. But soon after Smith’s attack on Chris Rock on the Oscars stage, Netflix quietly moved the project to the back burner.

Fast and Loose was to tell the story of a crime boss who loses his memory after an attack. Piecing together clues, he discovers that he has led a double identity as a wealthy kingpin and a broke CIA agent. It appears that Netflix was understandably wary of moving forward. It is unclear whether it will try to make the project with another star and director.

Smith now has Apple+’s slave escape drama Emancipation in post-production. The streamer had planned a 2022 debut but has not dated its release. Apple declined to comment. Otherwise, Bad Boys 4 at Sony had been in active development — Smith received 40 pages of the script prior to the Oscars — but will now pause, a source said. A few other projects in pre-production are likely to do the same. Netflix did not respond to requests for comment.

[From THR]

If this is something being done to Will Smith without his input, it’s f–king awful and these studios are overreacting terribly. But I do wonder if these projects are being shelved with Will’s say-so. He is clearly remorseful and very sad about his actions – it would not surprise me if he was making the choice to put some stuff on the back-burner and take some time “off” and time away from the industry. He might want that for himself, and I would imagine his team is telling him to keep a low profile for six months or so and just wait it out. We’ll see.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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