Multiple Will Smith movies put on the back burner after Oscars slap, report says

Kate Feldman
New York Daily News (TNS)

Will Smith’s career has been — at least temporarily — slapped down.

As the fallout continues from the Oscars slap heard ‘round the world, several of Smith’s upcoming projects have been sidelined as Hollywood waits to see how long the scandal lasts.

Among the films is “Fast and Loose,” a Netflix movie in which the 53-year-old actor was set to star as a crime boss who loses his memory and has to put his life, which included a double identity as a wealthy kingpin and a broke CIA agent, back together, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The movie, which previously lost its director to Ryan Gosling’s “Fall Guy,” has reportedly been shelved for now.

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“Bad Guys 4,” which was already in preproduction, has been put on pause as well, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Apple has not commented publicly on the status of “Emancipation,” which was put on the 2022 release schedule but hasn’t been given a specific date. The Antoine Fuqua-directed movie is set to star Smith as a slave who escapes a Louisiana plantation after a brutal whipping and flees north to join the Union Army.

Less than a week since he slapped Chris Rock over a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith, the “King Richard” star announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences amid an investigation into whether he broke the group’s code of conduct.

Chris Rock, left, and Will Smith onstage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

“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,” he said in a statement.

“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.”