Will Smith’s ‘Bright’ sequel was canceled & his NatGeo special was delayed

We actually haven’t talked about Will Smith in a few weeks. It’s been nice. Will has been smart to keep his head down too – following the Oscars, he just went home and he’s stayed there for weeks. There have been zero photos of him out and about in LA, although a few days ago, he was seen in Mumbai, India, where he’s staying at a four-star hotel. Perhaps it was always built into his schedule, for him to have a break following a hectic awards season, but I think it’s more like Will Smith has good people around him and he listens to their advice. We basically haven’t talked about “the Oscar slap” since the Academy banned Will from the Oscars for ten years. Clearly, that ban will not be the only “punishment” for Will. Most of his future projects have been put on pause, and it looks like Netflix in particular does not want to go forward on any Smith project:

Two projects that heavily feature Will Smith have had their productions altered, with National Geographic delaying one of its upcoming series while Netflix cancels the development of Bright 2​​​​​.

The series for National Geographic that is being delayed is Pole to Pole, a nature series that was meant to feature Smith as he visited both the South Pole and the North Pole. The report comes from Bloomberg, whose source is someone close to the project. This would mark Smith’s third show with NatGeo, the others being 2018’s One Strange Rock and 2021’s Welcome to Earth. The production was meant to start in three weeks’ time, though it is now set to begin in the fall.

Bloomberg reporter Lucas Shaw also confirms that Netflix has also canceled plans to move forward with Bright 2, a sequel to the 2017 David Ayer-directed movie that starred Smith. In the original film, Smith starred as Daryl Ward, an LAPD detective in a version of LA where humans coexist with a number of different mystical creatures. He was slated to reprise his role in the sequel. The original film was not received well by critics but was reported at the time to be one of the biggest film releases ever for the streaming service, so it was no wonder that a sequel was announced to be in development in January 2018. After four years, the film has officially been canceled.

The Bloomberg report also claims that the delay is fallout from the incident that happened at the Oscars last month… though Shaw is quick to point out in his tweet that this cancellation of Bright 2 is “unrelated” to the slap that occurred on Oscars night. Other projects that have been put on hold in the aftermath of the slap include an upcoming action movie starring Smith called Fast and Loose at Netflix. Both the crime biopic The Council at Netflix and a new entry in the Bad Boys from Sony Entertainment are still underway at the time of writing.

[From Collider]

I’ve said this before and I still believe it: I think part of the reason so many of Will’s projects are being delayed or canceled is because Will wants to take some time off. As I said, he has good people around him, and maybe he’s being told to simply take six months off and then come back and refocus on work, and he thinks that sounds good. If none of this is Will’s doing and studio after studio is deciding to “punish” Will, well… that would suck. I do think it’s being framed that way on purpose though.

Meanwhile, last week there was a new rumor that Jada and Will are headed for a divorce. I don’t believe it, mostly because I think they’ve weathered plenty of storms in their marriage before and this is no different. Their marriage has survived multiple affairs, Scientology and the Red Table. They’re fine! Plus, I think they live separate lives half the time anyway.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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25 Responses to “Will Smith’s ‘Bright’ sequel was canceled & his NatGeo special was delayed”

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  1. Guest says:

    I think Will is wise to take time off and away. Good for his mental well being and allows time for “the slap” to fade. Also not surprised at the Netflix cancellations. I’d read Netflix was tightening their spending due to the decrease in subscribers. Not good business to throw millions of dollars at Hollywood with minimal increase in the bottom line.

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    Nooooooooo. Not Bright 2. I was really looking forward to that sequel. Netflix can suck my wand.

  3. Becks1 says:

    I didn’t like Bright but it sounds like the sequel wasn’t going that smoothly – had it been filmed yet? This report makes it sound like it was canceled and the timing looks bad but it prob was going to be canceled anyway at this point, IDK.

    I’m bummed about the Nat Geo special, we LOVED “Welcome to Earth,” but it sounds like that’s just delayed not canceled.

    I think some movie big wigs are nervous after the Oscars, but I really think he’s going to be okay long term.

  4. Lolo86lf says:

    In 6 months no one will remember the Oscars slap. “The marriage survived multiple affairs”! I was not aware of that.

    • Driver8 says:

      Really? I don’t think it will ever be forgotten. Forgiven by some, but he’s been banned from the Oscars for ten years. The controversy isn’t close to being over.

    • FHMom says:

      Nobody is going to forget that slap. Ever. Hopefully, his career can get past it.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Will and Jada divorce. Nor would I be surprised if they stay together. I’m surprised they are still married but everybody’s priorities are different

      • Jennifer says:

        Those two have been having a lot of drama for years. Hell, she didn’t even want to get married. Would not be surprised if the marriage ends at some point.

        Bright didn’t sound good amd if the sequel has been in development hell for years, that cancelation probably isn’t on The Slap.

  5. Spaniard says:

    Hope this is all for his mental health because if they want to go the cancel route with a successful and talented big name for this b**sh*t that would be outrageous.
    This is so unfair that feels insulting. I’m done with Hollywood, the Academy, Netflix and all this bunch of hypocrites b*st*rds

  6. Well Wisher says:

    It seems that Will is pursuing healing with the same kind of attitude that he brought to his career.
    He has done something that was never done before, he has moved from rapping to television with comedy and eventually to movies and cinema with big , box office acclaim.
    He is one of five black actors in 94 years who was recognized by the academy for his work.
    He infused Richard with humanity and created a caring and professional environment on set to the consternation of some.
    He was already a winner.

    The next important item on his agenda, get to a place where he can ask the pertinent ‘What can I do to…..’ and try to work out an action plan with the answers.

    He has gotten successes in his career and his personal relationship, he knows how to love.

    Now he can embrace without shame his vulnerability as grown ass man who will no longer need outside validation.

    Avoid Why me questions?

    The last piece of the puzzle – peace of mind with the clear knowledge and understanding to LOVE yourself. The apology was sincere, now forgive yourself.

    I am rooting for your continued success.

    • Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

      Well Wisher, that point about Will Smith being only the fifth Black man to win Best Actor in almost 100 years is very interesting. So interesting that I looked it up and you are absolutely correct. Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Forest Whitaker and Will Smith. Wouldn’t it be great if THAT was the conversation everyone was having, instead of talking about the slap heard round the world and insult comedy?

  7. TheOriginalMia says:

    I hope he’s taking time off for his mental health because I just saw a fresh round of Will takes. Chris Rock’s mom, Terry Crews…it’s the slap that slapped the entire black community. GMAFB. No problem with him slagging off former FLOTUS Michelle Obama or Beyonce or Jada, but bring out the pitchfork with Will. GTFOHWTM.

    Never saw Bright. No desire. Apparently though, it was a hit for Netflix. But Netflix cancelling the sequel isn’t all that surprising. They’ve been cancelling and declining sequels all year. The media just wants to keep up the narrative Will has been cancelled when he’s probably taking a break. Same with the divorce rumors. You’d have thought Jada announced it on RTT the way Twitter was promoting that highly speculative article. Ugh…so tired of hearing about Will & Chris. Especially tired of the think pieces bashing Jada. Misogyny at its worst.

    • AC says:

      @TheOriginalMia I saw those, and I was like, we are close to a month and you guys are still talking about this? There was a young man that was shot in the back of the head by police that needs more attention than a slap! I don’t agree with what happened, but it sure doesn’t warrant new folks to continue to talk about it. He sure didn’t slack the community, just Chris.

  8. Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

    NOW, I think, is when we are going to see how dirty the bath water really is. Everyone was passionately arguing their opinion in the immediate wake of the incident, with some people saying Will Smith should be drawn and quartered and blacklisted as a dangerous violent Black man, others saying that Chris Rock’s ‘joke’ was on par with attempted murder. OJ Simpson was invoked a few times.

    But now is when we will begin to see the real consequences in both the careers of Smith and Rock. Sold out shows and cancelled projects. If Smith is taking a voluntary break for a bit to center himself, how easily will he be able to return to the level he should be at as the current Best Actor?

    • Southern Fried says:

      Outside the endless jokes he’ll be just fine career wise. Like others I think the paused projects are simply business as usual blown out of proportion by the slap. The memes, jokes will just have to be tolerate. I’ve even joked about it.

  9. MissMarirose says:

    I’m suspicious of this narrative. Netflix is in financial trouble with all those subscribers leaving. It wouldn’t surprise me if the cancellation of Bright 2 was related to that and they’re just using Will as a scapegoat to hide the real problem.

    • Cava 24 says:

      It’s also possible they wanted to renegotiate his salary given his situation, their situation and the fact that the streaming landscape looks a lot different now. The Bright sequel was first greenlit in 2018.

  10. Kirsten says:

    Based on things they’ve said, it sounds like they both have fairly problematic views of how relationships should work, and a divorce that lets them sort through that and find better partners might not be the worst thing.

  11. Erika says:

    It still amazes me that anyone is justifying the slap and making it sound like not a big deal. I don’t believe in cancel culture, but punishment (without quotes) is absolutely justified.

  12. Roast says:

    I’d like to think that beating anyone in public for no “good” reason would have some sort of consequence.

  13. JFerber says:

    Why is Netflix in financial trouble?

  14. FF says:

    Netflix just lost a ton of money and subscribers, they’re scaling back on everything. A Bright sequel was never welcome with Max Landis involved, and now with this controversy they can let it die along with multiple other questionable projects.

    I’d rather see Will in something better anyway.

    I know the conversation about him has stopped here but I keep seeing multiple outlets and personalities trying to drag out and reignite the “discourse” (read: exaggerated outrage).

    • Christine says:

      This. I’m not sure how much involvement Max Landis would have with the sequel, but I was shocked they even announced one to begin with after all that.