How Will Smith Is Allegedly Looking To Re-Establish His Career In Hollywood Nearly A Year After The Infamous Slap

Will Smith glaring at Chris Rock at 94th Academy Awards
(Image credit: ABC)

It’s been close to a year since the infamous Oscar slap but, in those nearly 365 days, it doesn’t seem like the image of Will Smith taking the award stage and striking comedian Chris Rock has been far from many people’s minds. And even now, some have still wondered what lies ahead for Smith from a professional standpoint Allegedly, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vet has a plan to re-establish his film career and change people’s perceptions of him, and an insider dropped claims regarding how he intends to do that very thing.

Will Smith has kept a relatively low profile since being involved in one of the biggest Oscar scandals in the award show’s history. But according to Variety, the actor is set to star in his first acting gig since the headline-grabbing incident. Sources close to the Men in Black star said he wants to re-establish his star power and credibility by shooting Bad Boys 4 and Netflix’s Fast and Loose back to back.

This decision would signal a career redirect for the troubled Hollywood A-Lister. His last two films, King Richard (which is the movie the actor won the Best Actor Oscar for shortly after the scuffle) and Emancipation, were both seen as award-season hopeful prestige dramas. However, the officially confirmed Bad Boys 4 and Fast and Loose (which is described as a wild thriller) would see the leading man returning to his big-budget studio tentpole roots. 

At one time, Will Smith was one of the biggest Hollywood stars and an industry go-to. However, post-Academy Awards incident, studios have apparently been hesitant to work with the star. Many of the actor’s projects were either canceled or put on hold. According to one unnamed prominent studio executive who spoke to the outlet, companies weren't all that eager to work with Smith shortly after the incident. They told the publication: 

Everyone was waiting to see who would blink first. It isn’t so much what he did, it was what he did after.

The anonymous top studio brass seems to be referring to the fact that the I, Robot star remained at the Oscars ceremony, was awarded, and was spotted partying--even singing along to his hit “Gettin Jiggy Wit It” -- at a party soon after the shocking televised moment. Many allegedly believe the star would have been better off having been thrown out of the ceremony. 

While Will Smith may be ready to move on from the slap, Chris Rock has been opening up. The public finally heard what the SNL alum had to say about the moment that made the internet go into a tizzy when he made Netflix history with his comedy special, Selective Outrage, which was the streamer’s first livestream global event. The comedian’s material touched on everything from the slap, Jada Pinkett Smith’s “entanglements,” and other controversial topics. Insiders close to the Smiths said Will didn’t watch Rock’s special, but people near him told him about it, and he was reportedly very embarrassed.

Only time will tell if Will Smith’s new career path will be enough to change people’s minds about him and re-establish him as a bankable star. However, one thing is almost certain, with Chris Rock’s comedy special making the kind of waves it has so far, the infamous slap is a topic that, even a year after the fact, we are far from hearing the last of. 

Ryan LaBee

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing. An expert in all things horror, Ryan enjoys covering a wide variety of topics. He's also a lifelong comic book fan and an avid watcher of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.