In what may come as a surprising move to anyone who's taken so much as a passing glance at Will Smith's résumé, the blockbuster-friendly actor has said he is ready to expand outside of his big-budget playground.
During an "After Earth" interview with Digital Spy, Smith said, "It's been an absolute necessity that the movie be a blockbuster, but I think I'm going to start moving out of that and finding more danger in my artistic choices."
Where exactly this will lead the 44-year-old actor is yet to be seen. (He did turn down the title role in "Django Unchained," after all.) Smith's upcoming projects, meanwhile, seem to represent a hybrid of his usual fare -- long-rumored projects include "Bad Boys 3," "Hancock 2" and "I, Robot 2" -- and a sliver of a step outside his comfort zone. "Winter's Tale," slated for release later this year and co-starring Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe, boasts a $75 million budget, a figure that's relatively modest given Smith's history. ("After Earth" comes with a reported $130 million price tag, whereas "Men In Black 3" was filmed for $215 million.) Smith will also reportedly carry the torch in a Hurricane Katrina drama being written by John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side," "Snow White and the Huntsman") and Adetoro Makinde, who is penning her first feature.
Regardless of what the future holds for the lucrative actor, a comment he made during the same interview leads us to believe he isn't having the best week ever. When asked what about the moviemaking process frightens him the most, Smith responded: "The movie opening at No. 2. Oh, I just gave myself a chill."
Which is obviously no good for Smith's current peace of mind, as "After Earth" couldn't even squeak out second place at the box office this past weekend. After collecting $27 million in its opening stint, the sci-fi blockbuster landed at No. 3, presumably giving Smith the heebie-jeebies.