Apple, Netflix bail out of bidding war for Will Smith biopic amid controversy

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 4
Apple TV+ and Netflix have pulled out of the bidding war on the Will Smith biopic after the actor slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Credit: The New York Times
Credit: The New York Times


Apple was among several companies fighting to secure rights to a film about Smith's life based on his best-selling autobiography published in 2021. However, The Sun reports that Apple has removed its bid for the film.

"Netflix and Apple+ have quietly removed their bids for a Will Smith biopic and will instead relocate the funds and develop original ideas from new black actors," a source said.

Reportedly, working with Smith has become a "risky business" following the controversy surrounding the actor's slap. The controversy started when Smith stormed onto the stage at the Oscars and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

At the Oscars, Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor for his part in "King Richard," beating out Denzel Washington's portrayal of the titular character in Apple TV+ film "The Tragedy of Macbeth."

After seemingly defending his actions during his Oscar acceptance speech, Smith later apologized for his actions and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Smith is currently slated to star in a new original film for Apple TV+ called "Emancipation." However, production was halted on the film because of Covid-19. Additionally, Apple was among several companies sued for alleged sexual harassment that took place during the movie's making.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,990member
    It will be a LONG time - if ever - for Will Smith to ever be relevant again in Hollywood.  Proof that all his words of years past were empty.
    Skepticalmarklarkjony0watto_cobraqwerty52
  • Reply 2 of 49
    M68000M68000 Posts: 486member
    So,  I agree that it was not a good look for Will Smith what happened that night of the awards. But, at the same time we’re talking about a guys wife and she is dealing with some medical issue is what I’ve heard.  Really don’t spend time following actors that much as my own time is more valuable, but that is the info on this I believe.  There is a line there and I understand that he reacted.  If given more time to think about it in a non public place, maybe that would have been different.   Will apologized for his part in what happened.  I’m not sure I agree with him stepping down or resigning.  It’s at the point today where men can no longer be men,  everything has to be an act or show in and of itself and be politically correct.  I think The apology is enough and people and big companies like Apple and Netflix need to accept that.  
    edited April 4 mwhitedesignrcommand_fwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 49
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,339member
    A pity if true IMO. 

    He made a mistake. He didn't help himself much after that mistake with the Vanity Fair celebrations but it remains a mistake. It's OK to say he should have known better and he should shoulder the blame for his actions etc. Of course he should. And IMO he should apologise to Rock in person especially if Rock was unaware of his wife's condition. Hopefully it's a one off and should be seen as such. I give him the benefit of the doubt at this point. 

    If Apple and Netflix were bidding for what would be a biopic then this kind of 'politically correct' decision is unfortunate. 

    The film will get a release at some point anyway. 




    mwhitedesignrindieshackmuthuk_vanalingambyronlbageljoeycommand_f
  • Reply 4 of 49
    dk49dk49 Posts: 225member
    M68000 said:
    So,  I agree that it was not a good look for Will Smith what happened that night of the awards. But, at the same time we’re talking about a guys wife.  There is a line there and I understand that he reacted.  If given more time to think about it in a non public place, maybe that would have been different.   Will apologized for his part in what happened.  I’m not sure I agree with him stepping down or resigning.  It’s at the point today where men can no longer be men,  everything has to be an act or show in and of itself and be politically correct.  I think The apology is enough and people and big companies like Apple and Netflix need to accept that.  
    Yes even I feel that the joke on his wife's condition wasn't cool. But then slapping someone when the whole world's watching is also not the right response. Anyhow, the thing is that people react to these kinds of incidents emotionally rather than rationally, and even more so as a group. The unfortunate truth is that people's perception is driven mainly by the media, and in this case the media has mostly sided with Chris. Apple and Netflix know this very well, and hence they believe that having Will Smith in an upcoming movie is not a good business move. Maybe after a year or two when things cool down then things might change. But for now, that slap is going to cost Will very dearly.
    designrbyronlqwerty52command_fmarklarkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 49
    I believe that what he did was a very primitive and savage act. I believe that he could’ve handled the situation a lot better that slap in front of the world was a very poor decision. Perhaps he could sense that his wife was displeased and thought that he should solve the situation using a act of hurt towards another human. I hope that he will approach other situations using a more gentler method. He will now pay for this act by having services like Apple and Netflix show his content. 
    SkepticalthtOferd_2byronlcommand_fjony0watto_cobraqwerty52macgui
  • Reply 6 of 49
    maltzmaltz Posts: 339member
    avon b7 said:
    A pity if true IMO. 

    He made a mistake. He didn't help himself much after that mistake with the Vanity Fair celebrations but it remains a mistake. It's OK to say he should have known better and he should shoulder the blame for his actions etc. Of course he should. And IMO he should apologise to Rock in person especially if Rock was unaware of his wife's condition. Hopefully it's a one off and should be seen as such. I give him the benefit of the doubt at this point.
    Don't downplay it TOO much - battery is a crime.  If he wasn't Will Smith (and/or Chris Rock wasn't as forgiving), the picture being plastered all over the media wouldn't be of the slap (or in this case, weirdly, his tearful acceptance/"apology" speech) but a mugshot.

    gregoriusmviclauyyccommand_fgilly33marklarkgrandact73elijahgjony0qwerty52
  • Reply 7 of 49
    M68000 said:
    So,  I agree that it was not a good look for Will Smith what happened that night of the awards. But, at the same time we’re talking about a guys wife and she is dealing with some medical issue is what I’ve heard.  Really don’t spend time following actors that much as my own time is more valuable, but that is the info on this I believe.  There is a line there and I understand that he reacted.  If given more time to think about it in a non public place, maybe that would have been different.   Will apologized for his part in what happened.  I’m not sure I agree with him stepping down or resigning.  It’s at the point today where men can no longer be men,  everything has to be an act or show in and of itself and be politically correct.  I think The apology is enough and people and big companies like Apple and Netflix need to accept that.  
    You don’t get to hit people because you don’t like what they said. To try to rationalize it as men being men is just ludicrous. Smith is an adult, expecting him to act like an adult isn’t about politically correctness. 
    gregoriusmviclauyycthtOferd_2applguyargonautcommand_fmarklarkgrandact73
  • Reply 8 of 49
    M68000 said:
    So,  I agree that it was not a good look for Will Smith what happened that night of the awards. But, at the same time we’re talking about a guys wife and she is dealing with some medical issue is what I’ve heard.  Really don’t spend time following actors that much as my own time is more valuable, but that is the info on this I believe.  There is a line there and I understand that he reacted.  If given more time to think about it in a non public place, maybe that would have been different.   Will apologized for his part in what happened.  I’m not sure I agree with him stepping down or resigning.  It’s at the point today where men can no longer be men,  everything has to be an act or show in and of itself and be politically correct.  I think The apology is enough and people and big companies like Apple and Netflix need to accept that.  
    One word: BATTERY. He committed battery. I wonder if those close to you would agree with your “men can no longer be men” dribble. By far the dumbest statement ever. Please stay single your entire life. 
    gregoriusmmknelsonbaconstangviclauyycOferd_2applguybsimpsenargonautcommand_f
  • Reply 9 of 49
    Rock was asking for it and got what he deserved. 
    M68000Japheymwhitecommand_fwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 49
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,354member
    Saw a video of 1200 bodies being dumped in a mass grave in the Ukraine. 

    Somehow a live tv slap just doesn't render a blip on the radar given current events. 

    Frankly the only reason why I put up with Netflix is my wife.    I wouldn't have cancelled Netflix 

    After their lack of instutiutional control after the Chapelle controversy.  They are increasingly becoming 

    A company I dislike.   I only put up with Apple TV+ because it's cheap.   They're run buy a cabal 

    of effete self absorded neo liberals who shame you for an act of emotion while peddling another Slave movie (Emancipation) 

    Dry ....Up....And....Blow...Away. 
    M68000Japhey
  • Reply 11 of 49
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,709member
    Dead_Pool said:
    Rock was asking for it and got what he deserved. 
    What a load of crock. He delivered a poor joke, but that is what Oscar hosts always do. That poor joke was nothing compared to the insult WS bestowed upon his wife and pretty much every woman out there. Like she needed him to protect her from a distasteful joke by bunching a guy in front of a billion people? She has proven herself to be smart and fully capable of fending for herself so what WS did was pathetic. For me the worst thing was that unbelievably cringeworthy thank you speech a little later. As low as it goes, really.

    The joke was lame but as Ricky Gervais said - I would not have made a joke about his wife’s hair. I would have made a joke about her boyfriend. :smile: 
    gregoriusmbaconstangbsimpsenargonautmarklarkgrandact73elijahgjony0
  • Reply 12 of 49
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    Not sure why we need a Will Smith biopic anyway.
    maltzmacplusplusfred1baconstangcg27d_2leavingthebiggargonautgilly33marklark
  • Reply 13 of 49
    Dr. Dre threw a woman down a flight of stairs in public and then joked about it and Tim Cook loves him.
    ronnholmstockdcommand_fmarklarkgrandact73elijahg
  • Reply 14 of 49
    M68000M68000 Posts: 486member
    Skeptical said:
    M68000 said:
    So,  I agree that it was not a good look for Will Smith what happened that night of the awards. But, at the same time we’re talking about a guys wife and she is dealing with some medical issue is what I’ve heard.  Really don’t spend time following actors that much as my own time is more valuable, but that is the info on this I believe.  There is a line there and I understand that he reacted.  If given more time to think about it in a non public place, maybe that would have been different.   Will apologized for his part in what happened.  I’m not sure I agree with him stepping down or resigning.  It’s at the point today where men can no longer be men,  everything has to be an act or show in and of itself and be politically correct.  I think The apology is enough and people and big companies like Apple and Netflix need to accept that.  
    One word: BATTERY. He committed battery. I wonder if those close to you would agree with your “men can no longer be men” dribble. By far the dumbest statement ever. Please stay single your entire life. 
    Thank you so much for your insult.  Obviously you are much better than me. 

    Based on your logic, should Will Smith now get divorced and stay single the rest of his life?   He apologized and he stopped at
    the slap.  It was not even a punch.  It’s over.  I feel that the other guy Chris Rock is just as much to blame with his atrocious idea of what humor is.
    edited April 4 Japheymwhiteavon b7command_fwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 49
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,258member
    They should do a biopic for Chris Rock instead
    baconstangjony0
  • Reply 16 of 49
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,060member
    Apple TV+ also distributes the movie Hala, which I've uncovered was co-produced by Will Smith's company, Overbook Entertainment. That makes me wonder whether Apple will take action on this movie, too, or let this one slide.

    A lot of A-list actors, including Will Smith, start their own production companies to help themselves secure big roles and top billing. Will Smith made Overbook Entertainment which helps him in these regards. In 2019 Will Smith and his wife formed another company, Westbrook Inc, which apparently does much the same thing, but is now a parent company of Overbook. National Geographic has first dibs on Westbrook films, which is odd, and I wonder if NatGeo will cancel their arrangement now.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overbrook_Entertainment <--
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westbrook_(company) <--


    d_2watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 49
    M68000M68000 Posts: 486member
    Dr. Dre threw a woman down a flight of stairs in public and then joked about it and Tim Cook loves him.
    Really?  If that is true than that is a disgrace and not a good look for Cook if he is aware of this.
    marklark
  • Reply 18 of 49
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 923member
    M68000 said:
    Dr. Dre threw a woman down a flight of stairs in public and then joked about it and Tim Cook loves him.
    Really?  If that is true than that is a disgrace and not a good look for Cook if he is aware of this.
    It's actually not true - he only attempted to throw her down the stairs - the real story (from 1991) is arguably worse: after excessive drinking and the whole of NWA angered by an interview Dee Barnes gave to Ice Cube in which Ice Cube dissed members of NWA: "He picked her up by her hair and "began slamming her head and the right side of her body repeatedly against a brick wall near the stairway" as his bodyguard held off the crowd with a gun. After Dr. Dre tried to throw her down the stairs and failed, he began kicking her in the ribs and hands. She escaped and ran into the women’s rest room. Dr. Dre followed her and "grabbed her from behind by the hair again and proceeded to punch her in the back of the head.""
    designrcommand_fmarklarkelijahgjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 49
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    They should do a biopic for Chris Rock instead
    Didn’t we already have a sitcom for that?
    marklark
  • Reply 20 of 49
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,410member
    crowley said:
    They should do a biopic for Chris Rock instead
    Didn’t we already have a sitcom for that?
    I was going to post the same thing. “Everybody Hates Chris”. I watched an episode once. 
    Once. 
    marklarkwatto_cobra
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