Will Smith's Next Big Netflix Movie Reportedly Doomed Due to Oscars Slap

A promising project for Will Smith has been put on hold indefinitely due to his attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars last weekend. Smith was set to star in a Netflix original film called Fast and Loose which was in the early stages of development. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has now put that plan on the backburner.

Netflix had secured Smith for the starring role in Fast and Loose, and was courting director David Leitch. Leitch was reportedly torn between this and an offer from Universal to direct a movie called Fall Guy, which will star Ryan Gosling. Leitch decided to go with Fall Guy shortly before the Oscars 2022 ceremony, which seems like a brilliant decision in hindsight. Netflix had reportedly put out an urgent call for a new director to work on Fast and Loose before the award show, but now sources at the company say it is on hold.

Netflix declined to make an official comment on THR's story, as did Sony Pictures. Sources there said that the studio is also halting work on Bad Boys 4. The sequel was reportedly moving along in the pre-production stage, and Smith had even read the first 40 pages of a script for the film before Sunday. Now, there's no telling when or if the movie will go forward.

THR's source at Sony speculated that other projects with Smith attached would be halting as well in the weeks to come. Right now, the actor only has one major project in post-production – a slavery-era drama called Emancipation for Apple TV+. Smith stars in the series, which was supposed to premiere in 2022. So far Apple has not announced any changes to that plan, but it has also not announced a concrete premiere date.

For those catching up, Smith interrupted the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday night when Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith on stage. Smith walked onto the stage and slapped the comedian, then screamed obscenities at him. Smith later apologized, saying that he was enraged because he thought that Smith was joking about his wife's medical condition. Sources close to Rock say that he did not know Pinkett Smith has Alopecia.

Smith was not removed from the award show and was allowed to accept his award for best actor less than an hour later. However, in hindsight, many critics wondered why he did not face disciplinary action. Smith responded by resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday, along with a fresh public apology.

"My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable," Smith said. "The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. 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."