Will Smith to return to first film role since slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars
Will Smith is set to return to his acting career for the first time since the Chris Rock incident at the Oscars
The actor, 53, who won the best actor award at this year’s Oscars, was banned from attending the prestigious event again, and has since kept a very low profile.
After Smith slapped Chris Rock, 57, on-stage during the live-broadcast, he went on to accept an award for his role in King Richard.
Comedian Chris Rock was presenting during the ceremony, when he made a joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and compared her to the character G.I Jane.
At the time, Rock was not aware that Jade suffers from the hair loss disorder, Alopecia, which is when the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss.
The moment left many shocked, and confused as to whether it was staged or not, as Smith not only slapped him but he also screamed illicit abuse at Rock, following the joke.
Since the incident, there was massive controversy as Will was banned from attending the event again for 10 years, with many saying he should be stripped of his Oscar win.
While Chris Rock courageously continued with his comedy tour and even joked about it as part of his stand-up routine.
In the months following the incident, Chris turned down an Oprah interview to discuss the situation, as he didn’t want to be known as a ‘victim.’
Smith took to his YouTube channel, to discuss the situation, where he said that he reached out to Rock, but he was told he’s “not ready to talk.”
Smith said: “I will say to you Chris, I apologise to you, my behaviour was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
He continued: “There is no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
Now, after six months, the actor also known as Fresh Prince, is set to star in Apple TV+’s new 2023 movie, Emancipation.
All filming for the role was completed before the incident took place at the Oscars, so Smith hasn’t been involved with any filming in the last six months.
However, it is reported that this is set to change, with the Bad Boys star potentially producing and starring in a brand new film, with Oscar-winner and director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
Will, who lives in Calabasas, Los Angeles, will produce the film via his company, Westbrook Studios - alongside ‘King Richard’ producers, Jon Mone and Ryan Shimazaki.
The author of the novel, will also act as a co-producer on the project, while acclaimed writer Akiva Goldsman will handle the script.
The Men in Black actor has already worked alongside Goldsman, for some of his most successful films, having previously teamed up for I Am Legend, I, Robot and Hancock.
Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, is a two time Academy award winner, for short documentary films, and recently directed the Marvel mini-series, Ms. Marvel for Disney+.
Currently, reports suggest that Will hasn’t signed up to act in the film adaptation yet, but he is expected to do so very soon, and star as lead character, Nick Cooper.
The novel, Brilliance, tells the story of a dystopian future, in which one percent of the world’s population is born with powerful gifts - and how society remains suspicious of them.