Apple shifts Will Smith’s ‘Emancipation’ to 2023 after Oscar’s slap meltdown

Originally expected to premiere on the fall festival circuit this year, the release of Will Smith’s ‘Emancipation’ will be delayed to 2023 due to Smith’s assault on Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony held on March 27, 2022.

Will Smith assaults Chris Rock (left) during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, 2022
Will Smith assaults Chris Rock (left) during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, 2022

Clayton Davis for Variety:

Directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”), the movie would have been the first release for Smith following his assault on comedian Chris Rock during the 94th Oscars. As a result, he was banned from attending the Oscars and other Academy-related events for 10 years.

Though the studio did not officially date “Emancipation,” it was expected to be the streamer’s next potential awards project this year after winning best picture for “CODA.” While Apple has not shared an official date, one source familiar with the situation said “it’s the unspoken truth” that the action-drama will not hit the platform in 2022…

In the weeks leading up to this year’s Oscars, the buzz was already growing regarding “Emancipation.” One filmmaker, who asked to remain anonymous, told Variety before the Academy Awards that they saw early footage from the film: “Will’s going to win back-to-back.” At the time, the quote was referencing his upcoming best actor win for “King Richard.”

MacDailyNews Note: Early last month, Apple and Netflix reportedly pulled out of bidding on a Will Smith biopic based on his best-selling autobiography Will.

Precious, interns, please do your duty, it’s past 5 o’clock somewhere! Prost, everyone! 🍻🍻🍻

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  1. Delay_not postpone? It’s amazing what our culture stands behind, ignores and otherwise permits in respect to black-on-black crime and assault.

    Maybe more curious considering AAPL/Tim was quick to vocally and financially support BLM during the Summer of Mostly Peaceful Protests.

    Black lives matters some of the time, in some ways…in particular if a white person is involved, I gather?

  2. The good news is that new GI Jane sequel that Chris Rock talked about is sure to be a great big hit, maybe Will can get a minor role in it as the bad guy from a third who has a secret weapons programs of mass destruction as his secret lair that he has to try to protect from a fifth rate terrorist nation.

    Such fantasy is usually amusing on the screen.

  3. Apple has slapped Will’s movie in 2023 in the hope the world will forget the slap, but who can forget the slap happened?

    Will is a bit hapless, but he certainly wasn’t slapless. Instead he did a slap-up, bang-up job. Impressive!

    Where there’s a Will, there’s a slap.

    In a room of 100 people, 99 won’t slap you, but one Will!

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