Apple Reportedly Distancing Itself from Will Smith Movie ‘Emancipation’ Despite Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews as Oscars Slap Controversy May Not Get it an Award

Apple Reportedly Distancing Itself from Will Smith Movie 'Emancipation' Despite Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews as Oscars Slap Controversy May Not Get it an Award
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Will Smith shocked everyone by slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards. At the time, no one would have imagined how big of an issue it would become. The actor apologized for his actions, but that did not change anything. He lost several films and got banned from the Academy for ten years. Will Smith continued working on his upcoming movie, Emancipation. Apple acquired the film in 2020, but after everything that had happened, the company hesitated to release the movie.

Will Smith wins Best Actor Oscar for King Richard the night of the Oscars slap
Will Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for King Richard

Apple planned to release the film in 2023. But according to sources, after the Oscar incident, the company decided to release it during the award season this year. However, there might be a possibility that Apple shelved the film for some more time as it has not announced a release date for the film yet.

Read More: Chris Rock Can’t Give a Lesser Damn About Will Smith After His Viral Apology Video: “Everybody’s trying to be a f**king victim”


Apple May Not Release Will Smith’s Emancipation This Year

Based on a true story, Emancipation follows Peter, a slave who runs away after nearly being put to death. He flees to the North and joins Union forces in the Civil War. Antoine Fuqua’s film stars Will Smith, Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, Gilbert Orr, Mustafa Shakir, Steven Ogg, Grant Harvey, and Jason Warner Smith.

Will Smith
Will Smith with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith

In its earlier stages of production, the film has caused a heated bidding war among the studios. Every studio was trying to get their hands on the film. Eventually, Apple got it for $130 million. However, after all the controversies related to Will Smith, Apple is in a debate about the release date of the film.

Apple had plans to release the film on Apple TV+. But after what happened at the Oscars, it was supposed to release this fall as part of the general award season push. Apple has not announced an official date for its release. But as the film has completed its production, it was expected to release somewhere this year.

Will Smith and Jada Smith
Will Smith and Jada Smith

Now with everything going on, the film may release later this year or early 2023. After its theatrical release, it will be available on Apple TV+.

Some sources also say the film can get an award-season release after its recent screening. The film had a test screening recently and has received overwhelmingly positive responses from the audience. The people at the screening were impressed with Smith’s performance and did not seem upset with his recent public behavior.

Read More: “After what he did to Chris Rock, Smith is not welcome”: Saturday Night Live Reportedly Permanently Bans Will Smith After Oscars Slap, Vows to Not Even Let Him Sit in Audience


Will Smith Receives Praise For His Performance In Emancipation

It’s been almost six months since the incident happened at the Oscars. The news soon faded as more Hollywood drama took over headlines.

And after the response Emancipation received at its test screening, Apple may feel comfortable giving the film an award-season release. There might be a slight chance that the film will receive the same reaction at the Oscars as it did during its test screening.

Why Fans Are Now Asking For Will Smith To Make A Full-Blown Hollywood Comeback
Smith slapping Chris Rock

After Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards, he apologized to the comedian. Smith also resigned from the Academy. The Academy banned Will Smith from appearing at the award ceremony for ten years.


However, he is still eligible for nominations and winning awards. With the reactions Emancipation has received so far, people also hope that Smith holds the potential to receive an award for this film.

Will Smith to Appear in Emancipation
Will Smith to Appear in Emancipation

Apple also has high expectations from the film. After CODA’s success and receiving the Oscar for Best Picture, the company might be hoping the same from Emancipation. However, with everything going on, Emancipation may struggle to be an awards contender.

It would not be a surprise if the film is not released this year. And it would not be the only Will Smith film to be delayed or outright canceled in the last few months. However, the actor still has films under his name, including Bad Boys 4, Emancipation, and I am Legend 2.


Source: Screenrant


Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2446

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.