‘Emancipation’: Apple Delays Will Smith-Led Slave Thriller to 2023!!

It is hard to believe we are already a month removed from the slap heard around the world at this year’s Oscars. As a result of the slap, many of Will Smith’s future projects have either been shelved or pushed back. Reported exclusively by Variety, the Smith-led Apple film Emancipation has been delayed until 2023, making it the latest Smith film to be affected by that night.

While there was no exact date for Antoine Fuqua‘s period piece action-thriller, the film was expected to be Apple’s next major awards’ contender after this year’s Best Picture winner CODA. Apple has not confirmed a date or the news, but one of Variety’s sources said that “it’s the unspoken truth” that the thriller would not hit Apple TV+ later this year. However, there is a slim chance the film releases this year as that same source also talked about how there are discussions between Apple and the filmmakers about the film’s fall release still going forward. That is highly unlikely given that the situation surrounding Smith has not gotten any better in the past month.

It has also been said that the film might not even be ready for a 2022 release as Fuqua is still in deep post-production on the film. Even before the slap, Emancipation had been on a tough road throughout its production. The film originally delayed its production to move shooting locations from Georgia to Louisiana to protest the voting restriction laws in the state. Then the film was delayed again due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida and COVID cases in August 2021.1

If the film was to come out this year the only thing that would be talked about, even in late 2022, would be Smith slapping Rock. Smith resigned from The Academy and was banned from attending The Oscars or any other Academy-related event for 10 years. With the events of the most recent Oscars overshadowing CODA‘s Best Picture win, the streamer likely wants to steer clear of controversy for their next awards contender.

It is a very tough pill to swallow for the filmmakers, but not so much for Apple as they have a big film slate already in place for 2022. Their line-up includes heavy hitters like the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winner Cha Cha Real Smooth starring Dakota Johnson, Rodrigo Garcia’s Raymond & Ray, and the animated film Luck.

Emancipation has so much talent both behind and in front of the camera, so hopefully the film can release sooner rather than later.

Emancipation currently does not have a new projected release window.

 

via Collider

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