Will Smith is picking up the tab for an estimated $100,000 in fireworks set to go off over the Mississippi River, after learning that New Orleans wasn’t able to plan a 2021 show for Independence Day on the fourth of July.
“A fireworks display produced by ‘Go 4th on the River’ will take place in New Orleans along the Mississippi Riverfront at 9pm Sunday, July 4, 2021. The gift of city fireworks was made possible by actor and producer Will Smith, along with his company Westbrook,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell wrote on Twitter, this week.
Tristan Fewings / Getty Images
Smith is currently in the city working on his next film Emancipation, which will follow a slave named Peter, who is able to escape a Louisiana plantation and go on to fight for the Union in the Civil War. The film was originally scheduled to shoot in Georgia, but Smith moved the production after the state passed strict new laws that will hinder Americans’ access to voting.
This fourth of July is also the 25th anniversary of the release of Smith’s classic 1996 film, Independence Day. The film’s producer, Dean Devlin, recently said that Smith almost lost the iconic role out of racial bias from the studio.
“They said, ‘You cast a Black guy in this part, you’re going to kill foreign [box office],'” Devlin said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Our argument was, ‘Well, the movie is about space aliens. It’s going to do fine foreign.’ It was a big war, and Roland really stood up for [Smith] — and we ultimately won that war.”