News broke that the new "Men in Black" movie, the fourth installment, is seeking life without Will Smith.
Smith, who stared in the first three films in the iconic movies that grossed a ridiculous amount of money for the actor, has decided for now that he isn't going to suit up again and make another $30 million to reprise his role.
While some may look at Smith's decision as pure insanity, he should be lauded for his ability to walk away from a franchise of movies that made billions and decide that there isn't anything left to do with the character or another follow up to the previous three. Far too often actors find solace and seek comfort in what they know, a role that made them famous and was flanked by critical mediocrity but box office gold. This typically gets paired with actors that have seen better days, and who have attempted to move on from these hit movies and found little success; therefore, they go back to what they know.
Call it a smart move but it feels more like falling back on and taking the easy way out. Tom Cruise can't buy a hit beyond "Mission Impossible," and Johnny Depp's career is dying and would be a complete lost cause without "Jack Sparrow" and "Pirates of the Caribbean."
Smith fits that bill with "Men in Black," and you can even argue that Smith went back to what he knew with the third move, but kudos to him for saying no (again, for now) to a fourth one. Look, the "Men in Black" franchise likely would have made Smith even richer and probably thrust him back into the spotlight with a bona fide hit at the box office. Smith deciding that he'd rather continue cultivating a legacy that goes beyond wearing a black suit as his wardrobe and fending off space aliens means he's not ready to join the likes of Cruise and Depp in A lister purgatory when you decide the only time you're not phoning in a performance is when you're doing what you know best and takes little to know effort on the part of the actor.
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