Did you pay good money from your weekend job at Jamba Juice to see the universally-loathed 1999 adaptation of Wild Wild West, which one contemporary critic called “extremely stupid and incompetent” and another deemed a “colossal waste of talent”? If the answer is “yes,” then Will Smith is very, very sorry about that.
In a roundup of the actor”s Tuesday talk at the Cannes Lions marketing conference (a.k.a. “the only truly global meeting-place for branded communications professionals to connect, share and discover,” whew!), THR reports that Smith “repeatedly brought up 1999's Wild Wild West as a personal low point,” and they aren”t kidding. Though the superstar has been involved in other notable stinkers such as The Legend of Bagger Vance and After Earth, he clearly holds a special place of unquenchable scorn in his heart for the millennial stinker, which saw him starring opposite such other slumming talents as Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, and a giant mechanical spider.
“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning. I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag – around Wild Wild West time – I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win versus promoting something because I believed in it,” Smith told the “enraptured audience.”
The Bad Boys II actor went on to address the modern-day scourge of social media, which no longer allows him to hoodwink unsuspecting members of the public into seeing his terrible films:
“Smoke and mirrors in marketing and sales is over. People are going to know really quickly and globally whether a product keeps its promises,” he said, throwing his lot in amongst the roomful of advertising execs. “I consider myself a marketer. My career has been strictly being able to sell my products globally, and it's now in the hand of fans. I have to be in tune with their needs and not trick them into going to see Wild Wild West.”
“Back in the '80s and '90s you had a piece of crap movie you put a trailer with a lot of explosions and it was Wednesday before people knew your movie was s–t,” Smith said. “But now what happens is 10 minutes into the movie, people are tweeting ‘This is s–t, go see Vin Diesel'.”
No word yet on whether Smith plans to apologize for the Wild Wild West theme song.