Phew! After almost a month since “slapgate,” the reverberations of Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at the Academy Awards are still making their way through Hollywood. A quick catch-up: Chris Rock made a bit of a tasteless joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett-Smith leading her husband and Academy Award-winning actor, Will Smith, to take matters into his own hands – literally. The actor approached Rock on stage and open hand slapped him, causing a wave of drama to crash down on all parties involved. With this information, it’s easy to see why Smith is having projects dropped left and right, but can you believe that some of his most anticipated pieces were already put on hold? Such is the case for the follow-up to Smith and Netflix’s 2017 action crime fantasy, Bright.
The fan-favorite flick took place in an alternate reality where humans, orcs, elves, and fairies have been living harmoniously since the dawn of time. Police officer duo, human Daryl Ward (Will Smith), and orc Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) head out onto the streets for just another night at work that turns out to be anything but. Everything takes a turn when the cops need to protect a female elf and a long-forgotten relic against those who wish to harness ultimate world domination. Directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad), the feature was a smash among viewers who slapped it with an 83% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes albeit a flop among critics who gave it a ghastly 27% approval rating. Nevertheless, Netflix pushed on for the fans, announcing that there would be a Bright sequel, but as of right now, it looks like that’s not in the cards.
Although the wheels were in motion for Bright 2, a tweet from Bloomberg reporter Lucas Shaw, announced that the streaming service has “abandoned” the follow-up production. Accompanied with news surrounding the hold-up on another Will Smith-led project, which is being paused due to the Oscars incident, Shaw confirms that the Bright sequel was shelved for reasons other than the assault. But if you’re looking for that exact reason, you’ll need to keep waiting for the answer. No one has been clear about what happened, but because of this, Bright fans may still have some hope. After all, if there wasn’t anything huge stopping production, the film could still very well be made.
As for that other Will Smith project Shaw was tweeting about? That would be his pairing with National Geographic and Disney on their travel series, Pole to Pole. The show will see the King Richard actor traveling to the North and South poles and taking audiences along for the ride, but now the series has been put on ice with production now eying a fall start date. And although companies such as National Geographic and Netflix are pushing plans with Smith back (Smith is to star in a Netflix action film titled Fast and Loose), his career isn’t slowing down – he’s just receiving more downtime. With the confirmation that the highly anticipated sequel to Bad Boys is still on the way, fans of Bright and the actor’s other works can plan to see him on their screens someday soon.