As if rapper-actor-genie wasn’t enough hyphenates for Will Smith, he’s upgraded to rapper-actor-genie-tech mogul-venture capitalist. The Hollywood Reporter has an in-depth article about how the Gemini Man star is expanding his global brand, using terms like “wide-ranging revenue streams,” “cash-generating library,” and well, “global brand.” The three main takeaways: Will Smith is very good at social media; Will Smith has A LOT of money; and Will Smith is working on a The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air spin-off series.
“In addition to producing Smith-fronted film projects,” the Reporter writes, “Westbrook is developing a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air spinoff series (he still earns hefty royalties from the 1990s NBC sitcom, now licensed to air in 193 territories).” Westbrook is Smith’s “cross-platform holding company” that he oversees with actress/his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith’s interest in bringing back Fresh Prince, which ran for six seasons and 148 episodes (including one very sad installment), is a far cry from his previous comments, when he said that would only happen “when hell freezes over.” Even with son Jaden in the lead role. But there’s a lot of money to be made in a Fresh Price spin-off, so…
Speaking of money!
Just as things looked bleak, Smith made perhaps the riskiest move of his career, re-teaming with [David] Ayer for the big-budget human-orc (sort of) buddy comedy Bright. At Netflix no less. Though eyebrows were raised across town, in hindsight, the choice was bold. Sources say Smith pulled down a $27 million upfront salary — double what Warner Bros. would have paid him for the package — while extending his global brand thanks to the streamer’s reach into more than 190 countries (at the time, Bright held the distinction of Netflix’s biggest-ever budget).
Smith made $27 million for the orc-cop movie. He might be the smartest rapper-actor-genie-tech mogul-venture capitalist alive.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)