Will Smith is slowly curating his way back to the spotlight of Hollywood. Once the proud owner of a staple good guy image, the Bad Boys actor’s reputation in the aftermath of the 2022 Oscars has been flickering on and off from the public’s perception. But people’s innate need to witness a tragic bildungsroman before being allowed to seek redemption and forgiveness seems to be working for the actor who was shunned after slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards in front of millions of live audience.
As the months put more distance between Will Smith and the March 17th event, the former seems to be stepping back more confidently into the public eye. His most recent endeavor, although small and open to speculation, was a collaborative video with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson walking in slow motion in a hotel corridor with Will Smith acting as the director.
Will Smith and The Rock Fuel Future Movie Project Collab
Soon after the audience and celebrities filtered out of the Hollywood Oscar event, disruption took hold over the industry as most criticized Will Smith for his actions while some remained biased about the confrontation. Projects were put on hold indefinitely and it became the actor’s responsibility to thread back his reputation in the public’s eye before those projects could be expected to take off once again. As Smith begins his reparations and Emancipation prepares for a rocky launch, it now seems The Rock has put himself forward to lend a hand to the industry veteran in his slow trudge ahead into the new year.
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Although no new project has been confirmed between the two, The Rock recently featured in a new video in collaboration with Will Smith. If the social media post is a teaser for a new video remains to be disclosed. Meanwhile, Will Smith shows off his comedic prowess as he appears to shoot a slow-motion video of The Rock walking toward him in a low-ceilinged hotel corridor. The Instagram post has given root to new rumors about the two A-listers working on a new movie together, and if the video is any indication, Smith is set to serve in a directorial capacity.
Besides The Rock, Will Smith has also made headway with several other projects rumored to be in the works. Reports indicate that the fan-favorite cult-classic apocalyptic movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith will soon feature a sequel. Although Smith’s character heroically sacrifices himself in the end, alternate theories surrounding cloning seem to work in favor of the return of the film’s protagonist. In late September, the actor was also seen filming the Nat Geo/Disney+ series, Welcome to Earth. The release date of the latter has not yet been disclosed.
The Slow Rebuilding of Will Smith’s Reputation in Hollywood
To the surprise of no one really, Hollywood seems to be opening up in cracks and smidges to the star power of Will Smith as major A-listers and franchises keep welcoming the actor with open arms. Smith’s first post-Oscars event was at the L.A. Lakers where he met with the NBA team as part of their “Genius Talks” annual series and commented on building “strength through togetherness and practicing gratitude in times of great challenge.” It has been widely maintained that Smith was implying his own experiences related to the 94th Academy Awards while also motivating the players who have had a rough year after a disappointing losing streak.
After the publicized soft launch of Will Smith via a platform outside of Hollywood, the stage was set for the revival of his Apple TV+ Original film, Emancipation which was put on hold by the company and by director Antoine Fuqua after Smith became radioactive. Following the controversy, the film’s appeal then increased in the collective consciousness and debate ensued over social media regarding the boycott of Emancipation. But the fated project crashed once again before take-off when producer Joey McFarland walked the film’s red carpet premiere with an image of Whipped Peter in the infamous The Scourged Back photograph which he showed off during the interviews.
Currently, public opinion still remains divided over the mounting negativity around Will Smith, and the Oscar-winner released a public statement stating that he understands and respects those who do not want to watch Emancipation but simultaneously asked his fans to not “penalize” the film in lieu of his actions.
Emancipation premieres in select theatres on December 2, 2022, and will begin streaming on Apple TV+ on 9th December 2022.
Source: Instagram | Will Smith