Our long cinematic nightmare is finally over.
Will Smith has at last issued an apology for making his 1999 mega-flop Wild Wild West.
The Fresh Prince was basking in the glory of Independence Day and Men In Black when he starred in an ill-advised remake of the 60s Western sci-fi show – and it backfired for him badly.
“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning.”
Critics savaged Wild Wild West and box office returns were middling when measured next to Smith’s other 90s hits.
Now, speaking at Cannes, Smith has come clean about his early big screen disaster. Turns out he was overcome with a case of Charlie Sheen-style “winning” and ended up trying to trick fans into watching a turkey.
“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning,” Smith explained.
“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.”
This went as far as recording a tie-in single with Dru Hill’s Sisqó and Kool Mo Dee to pimp the film. The track was no Men In Black, but it’s still a damn site better than the movie that spawned it.
Smith added that the days of “smoke and mirrors in marketing”, the kind used to shill Wild Wild West, is over.
“People are going to know really quickly and globally whether a product keeps its promises,” Smith said.
“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.”
Thanks, Will. And while you’re at it fancy telling us what was going on with After Earth…?