In the whirlwind aftermath of Will Smith’s infamous slap of Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards, news started to circulate that numerous projects the actor was attached to would be put on hold due to his conduct. One of the most prominent rumors was pausing one of Smith’s most iconic franchises in Bad Boys. However, these rumors have been squashed in an interview with Sony Chairman Tom Rothman. In it, he discussed the project is still in early development stages and that nothing has been canceled.
No. That was inaccurate. That movie’s been in development and still is. There weren’t any brakes to pump because the car wasn’t moving.Tom Rothman
In addition, Rothman discussed his relationship with Will Smith as someone who’s worked closely with him throughout their careers. As well, he provides his two cents on the infamous incident.
That was a very unfortunate thing that happened, and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment, except to say that I’ve known Will Smith for many years, and I know him to be a good person. That was an example of a very good person having a very bad moment, in front of the world. I believe his apology and regret is genuine, and I believe in forgiveness and redemption.Tom Rothman
A sense of forgiveness from Tom Rothman could end up being a good omen for the potential future of Will Smith’s acting career. There have been rising doubts on if any major Hollywood production would want to involve the A-lister due to him quickly becoming a controversial figure. While it’s a whole other conversation as to whether or not that would be a fair response to this moment, especially in relation to leniency given to other controversial entities in the industry, those rumors may end up being much ado about nothing. With the chairman of Sony being openly willing to work with him, it could be fair to assume that Smith will gradually be brought back into the fold of major Hollywood films.