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Netflix halts development on Will Smith action movie ‘Fast and Loose’

Following the events of the 2022 Oscar ceremony, Netflix has halted production for Will Smith’s upcoming action movie, Fast and Loose.

Earlier in the week, it was announced that Bad Boys 4 had been put on ice while the incident is addressed. The Hollywood Reporter has now revealed that Netflix is stopping all development on Fast and Loose, which would have seen Smith team up with Hobbs & Shaw and Bullet Train director David Leitch.

Leitch announced the project in July last summer, with Smith to star as a man who wakes up in Tijuana with a severe case of amnesia. The character later discovers that he led a double life as a criminal kingpin and a CIA agent but remains unsure as to which one was his true identity.

Allegedly, Leitch dropped out prior to the Oscars fiasco, leaving Netflix to send out what has been described as “an urgent call” to find a new filmmaker to take over. However, following the infamous slap during the Oscars ceremony last weekend, the streaming service has chosen to put Fast and Loose on ice.

During Chris Rock’s monologue he gave to present the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, he pointed to Jada – who has long been vocal about her struggles with alopecia – and said: “G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it”. Smith later said in a statement, in which he also formally apologised to Rock, that the joke “was too much for me to bear”.

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In the fall out of the incident, Will Smith’s son Jaden reacted on social media, while a number of other celebrities have also given their reactions and opinions. Among those who’ve spoken out are Smith’s old Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Janet Hubert, The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, Jim Carrey, Amy Schumer, Zoë Kravitz, Pedro Almodóvar, Rishi Sunak, Morrissey, Smith’s mother, Carolyn, and Jada Pinkett Smith herself. 

More recently, Smith announced that he had resigned from The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and “will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct”. He stated: “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… Change takes time, and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

With these latest setbacks, it is now debated whether there is a route to salvation for Will Smith. Some speculate that it will be particularly difficult, if at all possible, for the star to rise back to his former image and status within Hollywood.