The fallout from Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock at The Academy Awards continues to be felt with a new report from Bloomberg revealing more projects featuring the actor that have been delayed and cancelled.
The streaming giant has “abandoned plans” to make Bright 2, which would’ve seen Smith return to the world of the 2017 Netflix original that dealt with human cops being forced to interact with elves, orcs, and fairies. However, as Shaw notes, Smith assaulting Chris Rock at the Oscars is “unrelated” to Netflix pulling the plug on the Bright sequel.
NatGeo has delayed the start of production on its big Will Smith show following the Slap. But it's still happening.
— Lucas Shaw (@Lucas_Shaw) April 21, 2022
Shortly after the Oscars incident, Netflix “quietly” moved production of the Smith movie Fast and Loose to the “back burner” in what was seen as a reaction to the headline dominating fiasco. However, Deadpool 2 director David Leitch had reportedly withdrew from the the project a week before The Slap, so it’s difficult to say if Smith smacking Rock played a hand in Netflix pausing development.
For further context to Netflix now abandoning a second Smith project, the streaming company has been in a state of turmoil this week after it reported losing over 200,000 subscribers during the first quarter of 2022, which caused stock prices to fall and at least one of its biggest investors to dump $1.1 billion in shares. There were also reports that Netflix is dropping an astronomical $30 million per episode on Stranger Things 4.
All of this raises fair questions about whether or not Netflix is truly concerned about working with Smith or if it simply found a convenient scapegoat to rein in its spending.