Will Smith is a man of good deeds.
After Warner Bros. announced that they would be changing their 2021 slate to day-and-date releases, Smith took it upon himself to make sure his cast members in the “King Richard” film would be properly compensated.
The day-and-date release means the film will be released simultaneously on the HBO Max streaming service as well as theaters. But, with this strategy being rushed, many filmmakers were displeased with the decision due to the fact that they could lose out on proceeds they would make from cinema box offices. The Hollywood Reporter said Smith made about $40 million alone for his part in the film based on Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams.
Once the actor learned about the day-to-date strategy, Smith took it upon himself to write a bonus check for his cast mates. “Scandal” star Tony Goldwyn, who is also in “King Richard” confirmed the news on Monday in an “Access Hollywood” interview.
“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years,” Goldwyn said. “I have never worked with anyone as generous as Will. What you said [he gave bonuses/gifts to all of the talent] is true. When this movie, when Warner Brothers decided not to release it, to put it out on streaming, there was a lot of controversy as people know and we just got a call from Will saying, ‘I’m going to make this right.’ I’ve never experienced it, I was floored. I just couldn’t believe it.”
As for the day-and-date plan, Warner Bros. CEO Jason Kilar admitted in September that he may have introduced the strategy too quickly.
“I will be the first one to say, and the responsibility rests on my shoulders, that, in hindsight, we should have taken the better part of a month to have over 170 conversations,” he began.
“Which is the number of participants that are in our 2021 film slate. We tried to do that in a compressed period of time, less than a week, because of course there was going to be leaks there was going to be everybody opining on whether we should do this or not do this.”
“King Richard” will be released on Nov. 19.
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