Will Smith saved the planet from aliens, and now he is about to take on stock car racing. The actor-producer is set to partner with Amazon Studios and The Chainsmokers’ Kick the Habit Productions for a new romantic comedy set in the world of NASCAR, per “Deadline.”
The outlet broke the news on Monday, Aug. 23, revealing the title of “Clean Air.” “Younger” writer Alison Rose Greenberg will write the screenplay while Smith and Jon Mone serve as producers for Westbrook Studios and Heather Washington as an executive producer. Matt Summers and Tim Clark will executive produce for NASCAR. Dan Marcus will produce for Kick the Habit Productions with Drew Taggart, Alex Pall, and Adam Alpert as executive producers.
“Deadline” noted in the report that Smith is currently only a producer in the project. He “has no plans” to star in the project. However, Smith has reportedly “been very hands-on” throughout the process of getting the project off the ground, to the point that he helped sell the sizzle reel around town.
Sources Provided a Story Synopsis to ‘Deadline’
While there is no current casting information available, “Deadline” did acquire some important details about the upcoming project. “Clean Air” will reportedly focus on Lyla, “an ambitious sports agent who loses her superstar client before the start of NASCAR’s season and decides to take a chance on a rebellious female dirt track racer.”
Lyla will strive to prep 17-year-old Piper Kyte for a career in NASCAR, but she will simultaneously pursue another goal. She will try to “reform” Piper’s father, Matthew Kyte, a former NASCAR champion who “infamously walked away” from stock car racing. Matthew has not been around the track in four years but will potentially make a return in some form.
The “Deadline” report continues and explains that Smith’s Westbrook Studios “saw shades of ‘Hitch'” in the script and immediately jumped on board. The Chainsmokers, on the other hand, have a long relationship with NASCAR and previously performed during a two-day festival leading up to the 2017 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, per “Music in Minnesota.” The duo reportedly loved the idea of a romantic comedy revolving around the world of stock car racing.
NASCAR Continues to Pursue New Media Projects
The upcoming romantic comedy is only the latest project featuring stock car racing. Though the rest are primarily documentary-style releases. NASCAR has several series and specials in the works that will become available on various streaming platforms.
News surfaced on April 22 that Netflix had partnered with driver Bubba Wallace to document the 2021 Cup Series season, his first away from Richard Petty Motorsports. A camera crew would follow Wallace throughout the year as he pursued wins with 23XI Racing and interacted with co-owners Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.
Similarly, NASCAR announced in early July that Peacock would air a documentary about defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott. The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro took Dale Earnhardt Jr. around his hometown of Dawsonville, GA., providing stories about his racing career and early life.
To cap off the list of projects, NASCAR and USA Network announced on Thursday, July 8, an upcoming eight-part docuseries focusing on the 16 drivers as they pursue the Bill France Cup. “Race for the Championship” will follow the teams and drivers during the 2021 playoffs, showcasing how the crew members and drivers balance their personal and work lives while fighting for wins.