Netflix pumps brakes on Will Smith action film ‘Fast and Loose’

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Netflix pumps brakes on Will Smith action film ‘Fast and Loose’

Netflix has slowed development on its upcoming action-thriller “Fast and Loose,” which Will Smith has been attached to star in. The project has been moved to the streamer’s back burner in the days following the 2022 Oscars ceremony, during which Smith walked onstage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about the appearance of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

In the week before the Oscars ceremony, director David Leitch reportedly also pulled away from the project, electing to move to the Ryan Gosling vehicle “Fall Guy” for Universal. After beginning to search for a new director, Netflix has now halted “Fast and Loose” in the days following the Oscars.

It remains uncertain whether Netflix will return to developing “Fast and Loose” and, if so, whether the streamer would seek a new star for the project. Variety has reached out to Netflix for comment.

The story of “Fast and Loose” would follow a criminal who loses his memory after an attack. After mysteriously waking up in Tijuana, the character is forced to discover the clues of his past, leading him to learn that he has led two identities — one as a wealthy crime lord, the other as an undercover CIA agent.

Along with “Fast and Loose,” it remains to be seen how many dominoes could fall in the wake of Smith’s outburst at the Oscars. Smith’s Apple TV Plus drama “Emancipation” is currently in post-production and was seen by some as a potential awards contender for the coming year. The thriller stars Smith as an escaped slave in Louisiana who joins the Union Army. The film is scheduled to release in 2022, but Apple has not yet issued an official date.

The news of “Fast and Loose” comes on the heels of Smith resigning from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Friday.

The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news