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 film also got a spin-off animated series called Bright: Samurai Soul in 2021, but it is currently unknown if any other Bright projects will arrive on Netflix.
The Bloomberg report also claims that the delay is fallout from the incident that happened at the Oscars last month when Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith‘s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, 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. Smith has also resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was given a 10-Year Ban by the Academy in the aftermath of the event. 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.