“I read the first 35 pages and…”: Startling Reason Will Smith Gave Up on $420M Leonardo DiCaprio Movie That Won Multiple Oscars

As one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors, Will Smith has starred in several critical and commercial blockbuster films that brought him to stardom. From appearing in Bad Boys to Men In Black, a lot of his movies were smash hits. Because of this, he was frequently approached by filmmakers to join their projects.

Will Smith OscarsWill Smith
Like many A-list celebrities, Smith meticulously chooses the roles he wants to star in. The actor has notably turned down a couple of movie offers, many of which ended up receiving several prestigious accolades. So, what makes Smith reject projects?

Will Smith Reveals The Reason He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino’s Film

When Quentin Tarantino wrote the script for Django Unchained, he already envisioned the actors he wanted to star in his film, one of which was Will Smith. The Suicide Squad star initially said yes to the role, but he later had a shift of heart and eventually dropped the project.

While speaking at Actors Roundtable via The Hollywood Reporter, Smith discussed at length the reason why he did not push through with Django Unchained. He explained how he and the director could not see eye to eye. Smith said:
I had said yes to Django, but it was more about the creative direction of the story. To me, it’s as perfect a story as you could ever want. A guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave.”

Quentin TarantinoQuentin Tarantino

Django Unchained grossed over $426 million at the box office and took home two Academy Awards out of five nominations. Smith revealed how he came up with the decision:
When I choose movies, I’m choosing the arc. I read the first 35 pages and I read the ending… [The] idea is perfect. It was just that Quentin and I couldn’t see [eye to eye]. I wanted to make the greatest love story that African Americans had ever seen from American cinema.”
Apparently, Smith and Tarantino could not also reach an agreement as to the central theme of the movie. The actor wanted to project a story of love, but all he perceived from the script was pure violence. Smith further added:
When I’m looking at [the script], it’s like, ‘No, no, no. It has to be for love.’ Violence begets violence. For me, I just couldn’t connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer.”
This was the only comment Smith made about passing up on Tarantino’s Django Unchained, although he did not pull his punches when he spoke about rejecting The Matrix for a film that terribly flopped.

Will Smith Dropped The Matrix Only To Star In A Box-Office Failure

Will Smith The Matrix YouTubeFrom Will Smith’s YouTube channel
Letting The Matrix slip from his fingers forever is definitely the biggest regret that Will Smith had in his career. Like many other stars, he also makes bad choices. In his YouTube channel, the actor discussed this controversial blunder and stated:
So after we made Men In Black, the Wachowskis came in, and they had only done one movie. I think that movie was called Bound. And they came in and made a pitch for The Matrix. And as it turns out, they’re geniuses!
The Wachowskis approached Smith with the script, but he could not understand the sequences, so he had to say no. To make up for the loss, he chose to join a steampunk Western film that ended up hurting his career. Smith lamented:
So I made Wild Wild West, and I am not proud of it.”

Will Smith has made bad career decisions over the years, but nothing comes close to the infamous Oscars slap that tarnished his reputation as a public figure.

SourcesThe Hollywood ReporterYouTube

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