Will Smith accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in
Will Smith accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in "King Richard" at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Image Credit: REUTERS

Will Smith’s career appears to have hit a roadblock with news reports claiming that Hollywood studios are hesitating in pushing full steam ahead with the actor’s projects following the Oscars controversy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, streaming giant Netflix has slowed down the development of Smith’s upcoming action-thriller ‘Fast and Loose’ following the Oscars ceremony last week when the actor walked onstage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about the appearance of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Jada Pinkett Smith, left, and Will Smith arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif. The stunning physical altercation between actor Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday has sparked debate about the appropriate ways for Black men to publicly defend Black women against humiliation and abuse.
Image Credit: AP

The delay in ‘Fast and Loose’, however, cannot be solely blamed on Smith alone. According to Variety, in the week prior to the Oscars, director David Leitch reportedly pulled away from the project, choosing to focus on the Ryan Gosling production ‘Fall Guy’ for Universal. After beginning to search for a new director, Netflix has now halted ‘Fast and Loose’ until the Oscars controversy dies down.

It is also uncertain whether Netflix will return to Smith or choose to go ahead with the project with a new star.

TAB Will Smith slaps Chris Rock1 2-1648459773363
Combination picture showing Will Smith hiting Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY Image Credit: REUTERS

The story of ‘Fast and Loose’ is about a criminal who loses his memory after an attack. After mysteriously waking up in Tijuana, the character is forced to discover the clues of his past, leading him to learn that he has led two identities — one as a wealthy crime lord, the other as an undercover CIA agent.

The news of ‘Fast and Loose’ comes on the heels of Smith resigning from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Friday where he apologised to Rock once again and everyone involved with the prestigious ceremony.