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Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox
Will Smith is currently best-known for his 2022 Oscars ‘catchphrase’: ‘Get my wife’s name out your f*****g mouth!”
But millions of viewers of his films are probably unaware he had spent years before that working on a catchphrase that made him box office gold instead of a Hollywood outcast.
He first yelled his catchphrase in 1996’s Independence Day when battling big green aliens.
Will then went on to scream it in Seven Pounds, all three of the Men In Black films, in which he appeared as Agent J, and the Bad Boys blockbusters.
It's also cropped up in I, Robot and Suicide Squad.
And the infamous phrase is? "Aw, hell no!”
He loves it so much, in fact, he yells it in nine of his 29 flicks, which have grossed a total of £5,959,535,863.31.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans who say it is Will’s attempt to create a movie catchphrase as iconic as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “I’ll be back.”
Others have advised on Twitter he would have been better simply uttering it at this year’s Oscars in response to Chris’ gag instead of slapping the stand-up.
One said after watching the slap: “Aw hell no. On national TV really Will Smith? Well, kudos to Chris Rock for taking it like a man and still professional.”
Despite being banned from all Academy Awards events for a decade as punishment for the slap, critics of Will used his film catchphrase to mock Oscars bosses for not chucking him out of this year’s ceremony.
One said online: “Security: We'd like you to leave. Will Smith: Aw, hell no! Security: OK, carry on.”
Another remarked: “I wonder if, before Will Smith stood up to walk to the stage, he said to himself, ‘Aw, hell no’.”
Aside from issuing a grovelling apology to Chris in an Instagram video and screaming about a spider crawling in his house, Will has been in virtual exile since his Slapgate row.
But he may get to utter “Aw, hell no!” again soon on screen if he appears in new sci-fi thriller Brilliance.
If he takes a role in the upcoming film – which he is set to produce – it would be his first acting role since slapping Chris Rock.
Deadline reports Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will make her debut as a feature director, with talks underway for Will to appear as Nick Cooper, a federal agent who works for the Department of Analysis and Response.
Based on Marcus Sakey’s novel trilogy Brilliance, the flick is set in a future where non-neurotypical people – demonised by society as 'twists' or 'abnorms' – are threatening the status quo of the 'normal' population with their unique gifts.
A blurb for the film says: “They are officially labelled as “Brilliants” and are carefully tracked by the government.”
Will will soon be popping up in Emancipation, an Apple TV+ project, but it was shot before the Oscars.
He plays a runaway slave in Louisiana in Antoine Fuqua’s true-story film.
Will's plunging popularity since Slapgate has seen his star power rating go from 39 to a 24 between January and July 2022, according to Variety.