Every Upcoming Will Smith Movie (And Why Most Of Them Are On Hold)

Every Upcoming Will Smith Movie (And Why Most Of Them Are On Hold)

Since the 2022 Oscar slap, Will Smith faced fallout in the form of his career- here’s every upcoming Will Smith movie and why most of them are on hold or canceled. Has there ever been a celebrity so synonymous with box office gold as Will Smith? He’s been dominating the big-budget, blockbuster game since the mid 1990s, guiding franchises like Men in Black, visionary sci-fi/fantasies like I, Robot, comic book films like Suicide Squad, and heartfelt dramas like Seven Pounds and The Pursuit of Happyness to varying degrees of success. Smith has been an unstoppable force for so long, but his behavior at the 2022 Oscars slapped his career into the realm of uncertainty.

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Despite his slap at the Academy Awards, Will Smith still won an Oscar for his performance in King Richard, where he played the ambitious father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. 2019 proved to be one of the busiest years for Smith in recent memory, with the release of three films spanning the calendar. Those films were the Disney live-action remake of Aladdin, the crime thriller Gemini Man, and the animated comedy Spies in Disguise. With previous years only seeing Smith turn in one new film at a time, this marked a real uptick in Smith’s visibility at the box office and the beginning of a very busy run for him professionally. Will Smith’s list of upcoming movies was initially a long one, but as time has gone on, that list has grown shorter.

Related: Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock: All Oscars Updates And Key Responses

Some of Will Smith’s upcoming movies have either been put on hold, or are probably canceled. It’s quite a shame, considering the star has a wide range and boundless talent. Also, many of the films looked promising. So, without further ado, here’s every upcoming Will Smith movie and why they’re on hold.

Bright 2

Smith was supposed to re-team with Bright co-star Joel Edgerton for Netflix’s Bright 2. No release date was confirmed, nor had any details about the plot or the cast. The first spot of trouble for the movie came from behind the scenes when original director David Ayer and original writer Max Landis were cast out of the project. The Incredible Hulk helmer Louis Leterrier initially took over as director, while The Maze Runner writer T.S. Nowlin was supposed to pen the script. Everything changed for the upcoming Will Smith movie after the 2022 Oscars, and the film has been stuck in preproduction with no likelihood of coming out any time soon.

When Bright was released on Netflix in December 2017, it was reviewed as a mess and generally misguided flop by critics. People didn’t seem to mind and instead were so curious that Bright generated approximately 11 million views in its first three days on Netflix. The film tells the story of a human cop (Smith) and an Orc cop (Edgerton) coming together to get hold of a powerful wand before another mythical crime boss does. It was likely deemed successful on these stats alone, leading Netflix to greenlight another film. Though, it doesn’t look like Bright 2 is coming around the corner any time soon.

Is Bad Boys 4 Happening?

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys II

Unfortunately, Bad Boys 4 has been officially put on hiatus, despite 40 pages of the script being hand-delivered to Will Smith prior to the 2022 Oscars. Bad Boys 4 was in Sony’s plans since at least 2015, with a May 24, 2019 release date scheduled at one time. That obviously didn’t stick, due to delays involved in making Bad Boys for Life, which itself was finally released in January 2020. Bad Boys for Life wasn’t a critical success, but audiences inhaled it, and Sony was quick to confirm that Bad Boys 4 was still a go at that point. Despite the excitement surrounding the fourth installment of the franchise, Sony officially put Bad Boys 4 on indefinite hold following the Will Smith Oscar slap. The announcement came despite his apology.

Related: Bad Boys: All Three Movies, Ranked Worst To Best

The Council

Sad Will Smith in I Am Legend

In September 2019, Will Smith was cast as the lead in a new Netflix film called The Council, which reunites him with Concussion director Peter Landesman. Smith was supposed to star as Nicky Barnes, the real-life leader of an African-American criminal organization that held sway over Harlem, New York in the 1970s. Barnes was nicknamed “Mr. Untouchable” by the New York Times, but he did eventually fall from his perch. Much like the character, The Council won’t be coming to streaming services due to the actor’s fall from grace. The movie has been stuck in pre-production for years as it is, with Will Smith being the only slated cast member for (what used to be) the upcoming film. On top of that, no news has come out about the movie since 2021. So, it’s more than likely that The Council will be scrapped sometime soon.

Emancipation

Will Smith in After Earth

In addition to The Council, Smith was supposed to star in a third fact-based film, Emancipation, a new Apple TV movie. Directed by Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua, Emancipation cast Smith as a slave named Peter in 1863. Peter escapes from his captors and embarks on a treacherous journey to the North, where he eventually joined the Union Army. While receiving a medical exam, a famous picture was taken of Peter’s horrifically scarred back, which served to further anti-slavery sentiment and encouraged free black people to fight in the Civil War. After the Will Smith Oscar slap, the movie was put “on hold”, despite being in post-production. It was initially scheduled to have a 2022 release date, and though it’s not canceled, it certainly won’t be hitting the streaming service in 2022.

Why Have So Many Will Smith Movies Been Cancelled?

Will and Uncle Phil Heartbreaking Scene Fresh Prince

Most if not all Will Smith movies have been canceled or put on hold because of his behavior at the 2022 Oscars. Oscar host Chris Rock made a disparaging joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia, which caused a massive outburst from the actor that culminated in Smith slapping Rock across the face on stage. The incident was shocking, to say the least, and Will Smith still walked away with his Oscar despite it. His actions had far-reaching consequences, and one of those was that all of Will Smith’s upcoming movies were either canceled or put on hold. The actor has since issued an apology for his behavior, but that hasn’t changed the outcome of the Oscar slap.

Other Consequences Of Will Smith’s Oscars 2022 Slap

Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars

The halting of Will Smith’s projects doesn’t just include the movies on this list. Smith was slated to be a part of a Netflix film titled Fast + Loose that is now in limbo. Production for the movie has been scrapped, and there’s no telling whether they’ll continue with the film at a later date, recast Smith, or just get rid of the project altogether.  In addition, he resigned from his place in the Academy when he issued his apology and can no longer participate in the process. It’s debatable whether or not he could be eligible to win an Oscar in the future, but it doesn’t really matter considering that he won’t be making movies for a while. The aftereffects of the Oscar slap also cast a bleak shadow on the night in question. There were quite a few Oscar triumphs, such as newcomer Ariana DeBose’s win for West Side Story. However, all of these events and more were overshadowed, as the slap basically became the only thing anyone talked about at the Academy Awards. It’s an unfortunate setback for Will Smith and his career, as all of his upcoming movies are now on hold.

Next: What Will Smith’s Oscars Ban Means: Can He Still Win Another Oscar?

Spies in Disguise (2019)Release date: Dec 25, 2019
Gemini Man (2019)Release date: Oct 11, 2019
Bad Boys for Life (2020)Release date: Jan 17, 2020

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Allie Gemmill
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Entertainment Features Writer at Screen Rant.

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