The week before the Oscar ceremony, director David Leitch – in a stroke of unintentionally good timing – withdrew as the director of a planned Netflix movie Fast and Loose, starring Will Smith. Instead, he moved on Val Guywith Ryan Gosling in the lead role, for Universal, which is set to begin production in August.
A source says Netflix competed with Universal to be the next project for Leitch, but Universal went ahead. According to sources, Netflix has made an urgent call for another director to take over a project with the star who won Best Actor at the Oscars. But shortly after Smith’s attack on Chris Rock on the Oscars stage, Netflix quietly moved the project to the back burner.
Fast and Loose was to tell the story of a crime boss who loses his memory after an attack. By adding clues, he discovers that he has led a dual identity as a rich king and a broken CIA agent. It seems that Netflix was understandably cautious about moving forward. It is unclear whether it will try to make the project with another star and director.
Smith now has Apple +’s slave escape drama Liberation in post-production. The streamer planned a debut in 2022, but did not date its release. Apple declined to comment. Otherwise, Bad Boys 4 at Sony was in active development – Smith received 40 pages of the screenplay before the Oscars – but will pause now, a source said. A few other projects in pre-production are likely to do the same. Netflix did not respond to requests for comment.
In his April 1 statement in which he resigned from the Academy, Smith said: “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to override reason.”
Smith, Gosling and Leitch are all CAA clients.