After realizing that New Orleans will be unable to arrange a display for Independence Day on July 4th in 2021, Will Smith is footing the bill for an estimated $100,000 in pyrotechnics planned to go off over the Mississippi River.
“Fireworks show put on by ‘Go 4th on the River’ will take place along the Mississippi Riverfront in New Orleans at 9 p.m. on July 4, 2021.”
Mayor LaToya Cantrell said on Twitter last week, “The gift of city fireworks was made possible by actor and filmmaker Will Smith, together with his business Westbrook.”
Smith is presently in New York City working on his next feature, Emancipation, about a slave called Peter who manages to flee a Louisiana plantation and join the Union army during the Civil War.
The film was supposed to be shot in Georgia, but Smith moved it when the state approved stringent new voting rules that will make it difficult for Americans to vote.
Independence Day, Smith’s iconic 1996 film, celebrates its 25th anniversary this Fourth of July. Dean Devlin, the film’s producer, reportedly stated that Smith almost lost the famous part due to studio racial prejudice.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Devlin remarked,
“They said if you cast a Black person in this position, you’re going to destroy overseas [box office].” “Well, the movie is about space aliens,’ we argued. It’ll be OK in another country.’ It was a major conflict, and Roland stood up for [Smith] — and we eventually won.”
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👏⚜️ pic.twitter.com/oWI8b8YOap
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) July 2, 2021