The Worst Will Smith Movie Is Being Added To Netflix This Week

By Faith McKay | 14 seconds ago

will smith

Will Smith has a prolific career full of beloved blockbuster hits. Like any actor who has made a great number of movies, he’s also done some that just didn’t click for audiences. One of those rare flops for Will Smith is coming to Netflix On January 1, 2022. Here’s everything to know about Wild Wild West.

Wild Wild West takes place four years after the American Civil War. Kevin Kline plays both U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant and a secret service agent named Artemus Gordon. Yes, he plays two different characters, and they do interact. Will Smith plays Artemus Gordon’s partner, James West. He’s a handsome cowboy and bad boy who flirts with women and likes big action. The pair are working to protect the president. While the story uses President Grant, who was a real-life figure, and the background of the Old American West, the real-life basis stops there. Wild Wild West is a steampunk fantasy story that includes a lot of interesting inventions, giving room for fun special effects, like a giant mechanical spider.

wild wild west netflix

Jon Peters was a producer on the Will Smith film. He has become known for insisting that giant spiders be put into films he works on, including several that never made it to the screen. Wild Wild West has become a famous example because the movie was actually made and the giant spider is a major figure in the story. Peters also insisted on a giant spider in a Nicolas Cage movie that was never made, Superman Lives. Neil Gaiman has mentioned in interviews that Jon Peters wanted a giant spider in an adaptation of his graphic novels, The Sandman. The Will Smith movie coming to Netflix soon is the only known time that the producer managed to get a giant spider on screen, and while it is something the movie is well known for, it wasn’t necessarily the hit with audiences that the studio hoped for.

The budget on this one is estimated at $170 million, on the low end, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made, especially when considering inflation. The special effects and big actors seemed like a strong bet. Wild Wild West was released in movie theaters in 1999. It saw Will Smith partnering up with director Barry Sonnenfeld. The two had just worked together on Men In Black and seemed like a strong bet for the big budget.

There are a lot of ways you could qualify what an actor’s “worst” movie is, but for Wild Wild West, you can go directly to the source. Will Smith isn’t sure what his best movie is, but he suspects it’s likely the first Men In Black or The Pursuit of Happyness. For his worst movie, he’s sure that it’s this one. He says, “Wild Wild West is just a thorn in my side. To see myself with chaps… I don’t like it.” Fair enough.  

will smith wild wild west netflix

You don’t have to take Will Smith’s word for it. Wild Wild West also has a rough rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have given it a score of 17% with audiences liking it slightly better with a rating of 28%. It’s largely considered a misfire. The movie is said to be all over the place, throwing in a ton of jokes and huge special effects and action scenes, without much at all actually paying off. Unfortunately, the blockbuster also failed at the box office. The budget is estimated at somewhere between $170 million and $241 million. The movie brought in $221 million at the global box office. Even if the budget was revealed to be on the low end of that estimate, a movie typically needs to double its budget to break even, due to the split in earnings between the studios and the cinemas. This one cost the studio money to make. It was nominated for eight Razzie awards, including Worst Picture.

Will Smith also worked on an original song for the movie. It was called Wild Wild West and played on radios everywhere at the time of release. Despite how well many know this song, it wasn’t well-liked and was also nominated for a Razzie for Worst Song.

The flop didn’t slow Will Smith down. He went on to make Ali and then the sequel to Men In Black and Bad Boys, both of which became major franchises for Smith. These days, he’s still working on another Bad Boys movie, and has several other projects in the works, including a reboot of Fresh Prince and a sequel to his Netflix film Bright. If you’d like to see Will Smith in chaps and check out the giant mechanical spider, Wild Wild West hits Netflix on January 1, 2022.