Plans For Another Will Smith Movie Have Been Scrapped, But It Allegedly Has Nothing To Do With The Slap Incident

The list of projects associated with Will Smith that no longer will be moving forward continues to grow. The latest project to press pause on production appears to be a planned sequel to his sci-fi action thriller Bright, which was directed by David Ayer and released on Netflix back in 2017. The news was part of a Tweet posted by Bloomberg reporter Lucas Shaw, who was clarifying a point about Smith’s Nat Geo nature series Pole to Pole delaying its start of production. In the Tweet, Shaw brought up Bright 2, and commented:

Netflix has also abandoned plans to make a sequel to Bright, but that is unrelated to the incident.

It’s worth noting that Lucas Shaw’s reporting regarding the cancellation of Bright 2 reveals that it does not have anything to do with Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the Academy Awards. So what could the reasons for the cancellation be? News on Bright 2 has fluctuated ever since the first movie dropped. Back in 2019, Bright 2 was delayed indefinitely. A few months later, however, the sequel was revived as Netflix sought a new director to take over for David Ayer.

The concept of Bright certainly lends itself to sustaining a franchise. Set in the near future, Will Smith plays a grizzled LAPD officer whose partner is an alien. Like, an actual extraterrestrial, played by Joel Edgerton and a lot of prosthetics. Reviews for Bright were decent, with many claiming it was a stark improvement over David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (not difficult). But because Netflix doesn’t report traditional numbers, there was no tangible way to tell if Bright was a success for the company.

Couple this with the recent news that Netflix is losing subscribers, which is forcing the streaming giant to rethink the types of productions it throws its support behind, and Bright 2 could have just been caught in the crosshairs of some tough corporate decisions. That’s not to say Will Smith isn’t suffering legitimate fallout from his actions at the Academy Awards. Netflix put the Smith-led thriller Fast & Loose on the backburner following Smith’s resignation from the Academy. Around the same time, Sony officially paused development on Bad Boys 4, which Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed was in development after Bad Boys for Life connected with a mainstream audience. 

Expect to hear more developments regarding the status of upcoming Will Smith movies as studios and companies debate whether it is smart to be in business with the recent Best Actor winner. 

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.