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Will Smith’s Netflix Movie Resuming After Oscars Slap Pause

Following the initial fallout surrounding Will Smith’s infamous slap at last year’s Oscars, reports indicate that the star is now looking to move forward with the Netflix movie, Fast and Loose. During the 94th Academy Awards, Smith infamously took to the stage and slapped the comedian Chris Rock over a joke involving his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. His actions ultimately resulted in him being banned from attending future Oscar galas and other Academy events for 10 years. While Fast and Loose had initially been greenlit by Netflix a month prior to last year’s Oscars, the streaming giant paused the project in the aftermath of Smith’s outburst.

According to Variety, Smith is currently looking to restore his audience appeal and will shortly be filming both Bad Boys 4 and Fast and Loose back-to-back. Per the original report, sources indicate that Netflix was initially hesitant to push forward with their own project until Sony had decided to greenlight Bad Boys 4. Fast and Loose is described as a big-budget action thriller that will see Smith star as the leader of a criminal organization who loses his memory after an attack.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock (12869374cb)
HOLLYWOOD, CA – March 27, 2022. Chris Rock and Will Smith onstage during the show at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 27, 2022. (Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)
94th Academy Awards – Show, Los Angeles, California, Usa – 27 Mar 2022

Ever since the events of the 94th Academy Awards, Smith has made several public apologies to both Rock and the Motion Picture Academy for his behavior and lapse in judgement. In terms of his acting career, however, he has only since appeared in Apple TV+’s Emancipation and has otherwise been keeping a relatively low profile. With this latest news, however, it seems that Smith is now intent on rehabilitating his image and restoring his position as one of Hollywood’s most highly sought-after stars.

Despite these moves to focus on the future of his career, the fallout of his Oscars slap still continues to dominate the headlines. Most recently Rock himself reignited public interest in the pair’s ongoing feud during his recent Netflix comedy special Chris Rock: Selective Outrage. Delivering a blistering rebuke on Smith’s actions, as well as that of his wife’s in regard to the reported affair she had, Rock made it clear that he was still not yet ready to move on from the incident even if Smith is.

The question for many though, is whether Smith’s plans to return to work will manage to overcome the damage that has been caused to his reputation. His return to Fast and Loose and the sort of action-heavy roles that first made him a bona fide star following his time on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air seems like a smart move. If Netflix’s own willingness to get back into the Will Smith business is any indication, the beleaguered star may yet find his way back into the public’s good graces.

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