Netflix quits Will Smith-led thriller amidst Oscar controversy
(Credit: Gage Skidmore)

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Netflix quits Will Smith-led thriller amidst Oscar controversy

Following the infamous Will Smith slap that led to a controversial Oscars ceremony this year, Netflix has decided to quit the production of an upcoming thriller film starring the actor. 

At the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after the latter poked fun at Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair loss. Will Smith’s wife, Jada, has lost her hair due to alopecia’s autoimmune disorder. Following this act of physical violence, Smith hurled a string of offensive threats at Rock, who tried to keep composure and keep the night going. 

While Apple+ and Netflix have both backed out from the bidding race surrounding Will Smith’s biopic film, Netflix has also decided to indefinitely halt the upcoming movie Fast and Loose that was supposed to star Smith in the centre. 

The project was in the works for quite some time before Netflix picked it up and roped in director David Leitch, known for films like Hobbs & Shaw, Deadpool 2 etc. However, after Leitch decided to focus on the Universal Studios film Fall Guy with Ryan Gosling, Netflix reportedly looked for a new filmmaker. 

Smith was supposed to star as the lead and produce the film. The film would see him as a high-profile criminal organisation leader who loses his memory after an attack. Soon, he finds himself at the crossroads between two lives. While one of them is interesting and intense and sees him live the life of a lavish kingpin, in the other version, he is an unhappy CIA agent living a lonely existence. 

Forced to choose between one, he separately tries to regain his memory to recover his true identity. Now that Netflix has put the project on hiatus, it is unknown if they will scrap the project entirely or begin with a new cast list. 

Meanwhile, Smith won his first-ever Academy Award for his performance in King Richard, moments after the infamous slap incident. On April 1st, 2022, he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after facing massive criticism for his actions. He even apologised to the comedian and the Academy for his unprecedented outburst. 

Since then, Smith’s Gemini Man has been trending on Netflix for the past few weeks. 

(Credit: Netflix)