Netflix Moving Forward With Shelved Will Smith Movie Following Post-Slap Pause

The 95th Academy Awards are taking place this weekend, which means many folks are reflecting on a big incident that occurred during last year's ceremony. Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the face onstage during the 2022 broadcast shortly before Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor. The fallout was quite extreme and this year's event is even expected to have a "crisis team" because of the infamous slap. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Janet Yang recently admitted The Academy didn't handle the slap as well as they could have, but the incident affected more than just the Oscars. Smith had projects put on hold, including the Netflix movie Fast and Loose. However, Variety recently reported that the movie is back on track. 

Fast and Loose is expected to be a big-budget action thriller about the leader of a criminal organization who suffers memory loss from an attack. Now that Sony is moving ahead with Bad Boys 4, it appears Netflix feels better about working with Smith once again. "Everyone was waiting to see who would blink first," one high-ranking executive at a major studio told Variety. "It isn't so much what he did, it was what he did after." Another source added, "Netflix definitely wasn't willing to be the first studio to get back into business with Will." 

Did Will Smith Apologize For The Slap?

Will Smith had to go on an "apology tour" after the slap, and it's said he tried to make amends with Rock after the incident took place. Here's what the actor said shortly after the Oscars took pace last year:

"My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home," Smith wrote. "I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film."

Is Will Smith Presenting at the Oscars?

Will Smith was banned from attending the Academy Awards for ten years, which means he won't be continuing the ceremony's tradition of having the previous Best Actor winner present the award for Best Actress. Movie fans are speculating that the role of presenter will go to Halle Berry who won the award for Monster's Ball back in 2002. Many are hoping Michelle Yeoh wins the award for Everything Everywhere All At Once. If she does take home the gold, she will be the first Asian woman in history to win and the first woman of color to win since Berry won over 20 years ago. 

The 95th Academy Awards are taking place on March 12th.