Will Smith’s Sugar Bandits finds a director in Stefano Sollima

Will Smith will be scaling back to do an indie film. However, it will still be a bigger-budgeted indie film, and the movie has tapped the Sicario 2 director.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Will Smith will continue his career damage control with a rare venture into indie territory with the action thriller Sugar Bandits. With a reported budget that circles $80 million, Sugar Bandits follows “a former Special Forces solider who joins an elite, vigilante squad aiming to wipe out the drug trade in Boston, but soon learns things are not what they seem.” With the film being put up at the European Film Market, which predominantly puts smaller films on display, the $80 million price tag makes the Will Smith vehicle the biggest movie at the show.

As the Cannes market event approaches, Deadline is reporting that Smith’s Westbrook Studios and AGC Studios have tapped Italian director Stefano Sollima to sit in the director’s seat for the vigilante thriller. Sollima is no stranger to dark crime content as he has also helmed films like Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which was a sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s equally tense original, starring Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Sollima had also directed the Prime Video film Without Remorse, which stars Michael B. Jordan. Jordan would also announce that he would be working with Smith in developing a sequel to I Am Legend.

Sugar Bandits has sat on the Hollywood sidelines with Universal setting director Joe Carnahan on the project. However, it would since head out to EFM, where filmmakers scope out independent projects. Sugar Bandits is based on the screenplay and novel Devils In Exile by Chuck Hogan (The TownThe Strain13 Hours), with Smith and Jon Mone producing through Westbrook Studios. Ryan Shimizaki oversees the project, with Stuart Ford joining the production effort through AGC Studios, which is financing the film entirely. Additionally, Richard Abate produces via 3 Arts Entertainment.

This June will also see Will Smith return as Mike Lowery in Bad Boys Ride or Die. The fourth Bad Boys movie marks Will Smith’s first theatrically released feature since the infamous Oscar slap. It’s being seen as the test of whether or not audiences are going to be able to move past the controversy and embrace him as the big star he used to be. Certainly, Bad Boys: Ride or Die seems like a good bet, with the last Bad Boys movie being a surprise mega-hit.

About the Author

E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/will-smith-sugar-bandits-stefano-sollima/

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