4 Steven Spielberg and Will Smith Movie Ventures That Didn’t Happen – Here’s Why

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By Iron Man

Repeated efforts to unite Will Smith and Steven Spielberg for a film have been thwarted by various challenges and failures.

It may surprise some that two highly accomplished figures in the entertainment industry, Will Smith and Steven Spielberg, have never joined forces on a film project. Both have achieved tremendous success in their respective careers, with Will Smith’s Academy Award win and box office hits in action-adventure movies, and Steven Spielberg’s numerous awards and expertise in creating summer blockbuster films.

Despite their individual successes in the film industry, Steven Spielberg and Will Smith have attempted to collaborate on several projects over the years, all of which ultimately fell through during the development process.

Here are four such canceled movies and the reasons behind their demise:

4. The Mark

4 Cancelled Steven Spielberg and Will Smith Film Ventures and Their Causes

  • Synopsis:
    • The Mark was a spec script written by Rob Liefield, which featured bearers of a mysterious “Mark” throughout history, including a portion involving Hitler and the Nazis searching for this powerful object.
  • Why It Didn’t Happen:
    • After months of negotiations and a deal in place, creative differences emerged over producing and merchandise points, causing the project to collapse. The disagreement reportedly stemmed from disagreements over merchandise rights, leading to its unfortunate demise.

3. Harvey

  • Synopsis:
    • “Harvey” was intended to be a reimagining of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, where the lead character, Elwood P. Dowd, has an invisible rabbit named Harvey as his best friend.
  • Why It Didn’t Happen:
    • Steven Spielberg showed interest in making this unique movie, but he reportedly never found a lead actor he was satisfied with. Various actors, including Will Smith, were considered for the role, but Spielberg’s dissatisfaction with casting choices led to the project’s abandonment.

2. Oldboy

  • Synopsis:
    • “Oldboy” was set to be a remake of the acclaimed 2003 South Korean movie of the same name, known for its dark and morbid thriller elements.
  • Why It Didn’t Happen:
    • While Spielberg and Smith teamed up for the project in 2008, the remake never progressed beyond initial meetings. A year later, Dreamworks announced the project’s cancellation because they couldn’t secure the rights to the original material. The eventual 2013 Hollywood remake starred Josh Brolin and had a different director, Spike Lee.

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7

  • Synopsis:
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was a politically relevant project about the infamous trial during the Vietnam War era, with Will Smith cast as Bobby Seale and Heath Ledger considered for the role of Tom Hayden.
  • Why It Didn’t Happen:
    • Spielberg hired writer Aaron Sorkin to work on the screenplay, but the 2007 Writers’ Guild of America strike disrupted the project’s progress. Spielberg’s version of the film was put on hold and eventually replaced by Aaron Sorkin directing it in 2020, sans Smith and Ledger.

Despite their multiple attempts, Will Smith and Steven Spielberg have yet to collaborate successfully on a film project, leaving their fans eagerly awaiting a potential future project together.