Will Smith to Star in New National Geographic Series!

Chisom Ndianefo
Close-up shot of Will Smith
Getty | Nicky J Sims

It's up and up for Will Smith as he books another major gig ahead of the 2024 movie season. It's about to be bad news for you if you're still hung up on the infamous slap incident from last year's Oscars, as the actor is no longer "blackballed."

Roster For 2024

Smith is slated to star in new movies—from the fourth installment of his classic Bad Boys with Martin Lawrence to a new National Geographic series with Disney. Pole to Pole would follow Smith from the South to the North Pole as he takes on new challenges and learns new cultures.

Easing Back Into The Industry

Will Smith at the Emancipation premiere
Flickr | Mulderville

It's the first big news since Smith released Emancipation after the infamous slap incident. The industry turned on the actor as many of his peers weighed in on his actions and how they wanted him to pay penance. Chris Rock, the victim of his assault, said he wasn't ready to forgive Smith despite the actor filming a public apology via Instagram.

Another Oscars Season

Will Smith flaunts his Oscars
Flickr | doingbuzz2015

The industry remembers Smith's conduct in the last award show as the Oscars approach. He's not nominated in any category this year, and if he were, the 50-year-old can't attend the live show as he's been banned for 10 years.

Emancipation Bombed At the Box Office

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the Premiere of Emancipation
Flickr | Mulderville

Smith's return didn't come without backlash, as several fans emphasized their disapproval of the actor. They boycotted his movie, Emancipation, which streamed on Apple TV Plus, causing the $120 million production to lose money.

The movie barely scraped $300,000 in the cinema before it moved to the streamer (streaming services don't disclose their financials).

The Infamous Slap

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars
Giphy | Fools In Progress Theatre Co.

Smith's success as one of the few African-American actors to win an Oscar for a leading role didn't receive as much shine as it should have because of the slap scandal. Instead, the only topic on everyone's lips was why Will Smith slapped Chris Rock and if it was justified.

The Triggers

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the Bad Boys III Premiere
Flickr | doingbuzz2015

Rock made two jokes at the expense of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, causing the King Richards actor to walk up to the stage and slap the comedian. Upon returning to his seat, Smith yelled,

"Keep my wife's name out of your mouth!"

Love From Friends

Immediately after the incident, Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry approached Smith and gave him a pep talk. So, he apologized to Rock on stage and later via Instagram, although there's still tension between them.

Pleading For Forgiveness

When Emancipation bombed at the Box Office, Smith pleaded with fans to forgive his actions and not let his subsequent projects suffer as a result of his involvement.

Moving On

Perhaps a fan favorite like Bad Boys can clear all tensions as fans troop in to watch the characters they've come to love. Also, shelved productions like Pole to Pole are back on track with his renewed status.