Will Smith’s freak out at this year’s Oscars seems to be having its first consequences. Several studios have stopped working with the actor for the time being. In addition to Netflix’s “Fast & Loose”, Sony’s “Bad Boys 4” is also affected.
What began as an innocuous (if tasteless) joke by Chris Rock ended in perhaps the ugliest moment in Oscar history: Superstar Will Smith took the stage, arguably to defend his wife’s honor, and punched the comedian onstage Face. Back at his seat, he finally shot again verbally – including the bad F word.
There were no consequences for the time being, on the contrary: a little later Smith even received the Oscar for best actor for his performance in the film “King Richard”. Now, more than a week later, possible first consequences of the freak are becoming clear. Physical violence in response to a verbal attack? That doesn’t work at all – that’s also the opinion of those responsible for various film studios, who are now apparently putting Will Smith on the sidelines.
Both Netflix (“Fast & Loose”) and Sony (“Bad Boys 4”) are putting current Smith projects on hold now, among other things, the Hollywood reporters reported. But while only those responsible know to what extent the Oscar scandal is actually responsible for this, we want to take a look behind the scenes to classify the situation correctly. Because it would be hasty to predict that Will Smith’s career will end prematurely. After all, he already revealed some time ago that he wants to step back and take a break after the Oscars.
Incidentally, Will Smith officially resigned from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after the incident, but the actor’s disciplinary proceedings remain open.
“Fast & Loose”: First without a director, now also without the main actor
Fast & Loose is an action thriller about a man with no memory (Smith) who tries to discover who he is while confronting his dark, seedy past.
But while the production is likely to suffer a setback from Smith’s performance at the Oscars, the problems began much earlier. Before the misery surrounding leading actor Smith, director David Leitch (“John Wick”) was already lost, who instead took his place in the director’s chair for Universal Pictures in the actioner “Fall Guy”.
So the film is currently without a director and main actor. It remains to be seen when and in what form the project will be brought back on track or whether, given the circumstances, it may even be scrapped altogether. After Leitch’s departure, however, Netflix immediately began looking for alternative filmmakers who could follow in the action master’s footsteps. The will to realize “Fast & Loose” without Leitch was great – but now seems broken after Smith’s Oscar freak out. Or at least badly cracked.
“Bad Boys 4” is also shaking
However, the news that Sony seems to be temporarily ending work on “Bad Boys 4” should be particularly painful for many action fans. According to the source of Hollywood reporters, Smith received 40 pages of the script before the Oscars. But now the film is on hold for the time being.
This is particularly bitter because the long-awaited revival of the buddy action cult was an impressive success with “Bad Boys For Life”. The film was not only the most successful Hollywood blockbuster of 2020 but was also celebrated by the trade press and the public alike. Without further ado, “Bad Boys 4” was announced, which shouldn’t be delayed again for more than 15 years – and now maybe it will remain wishful thinking forever. But that fate could also meet some other planned films such as the recently announced “I Am Legend 2″…
“Emancipation”: This upcoming Will Smith movie is already in the can
While it is questionable how things will continue with those projects, we should at least expect another Smith film in the near future with “Emancipation”. In any case, filming of the true-life action thriller drama for Apple TV+ has already wrapped up. When the film by Antoine Fuqua (“The Equalizer”, “Olympus Has Fallen”) will be released is not yet known.
At the center of Emancipation is a slave (Smith) on the run who will do whatever it takes to escape his ruthless pursuers, fighting his way through the dangerous swamp of Louisiana to join the Union Army in the North.