Will Smith’s Oscar shenanigans may have cost him delays for his latest movie Emancipation. Smith’s film was set to arrive at the fall festival circuit later this year. However, the Apple movie co-producted by Smith’s company Westbrook Studios is now expecting delays until sometime in 2023.
Will Smith’s ‘Emancipation’ Seeing Delays
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Emancipation would have been the first release from Smith following his assault on Chris Rock at the 94th Oscars. After the incident, Smith received a 10 year ban from attending the Oscars and other Academy-related events.
Though there was no official release date for Emancipation, the film was likely to be Apple’s next potential awards project after its massive success with CODA. Though Apple has not set an official date, a source close to the situation stated “it’s the unspoken truth” that the action-drama will not see itself on the platform in 2022.
However, the same source also stated that internal discussions between Apple executives and the filmmakers on the possibility of a fall release, but it is highly unlikely. Smith’s Emancipation will most likely see delays until the end of the year.
Even before this year’s Oscars, buzz around Emancipation was already growing. After seeing early footage from the film, an anonymous filmmaker told Variety that “Will’s going to win back-to-back”. This was in reference to his upcoming best actor win for King Richard.
While the slap is mostly receiving the blunt of the blame for the release delay, sources are also indicating that Fuqua is still deep in the post-production phase. It is likely the director is simply not ready for a 2022 release date. The film has already seen several delays. This includes moving production from Georgia to Louisiana to protest the state’s voting restriction laws, destruction caused by Hurricane Ida and a pause due to COVID-19 cases in August 2021.
Furthermore, delays could also be the result of Apple’s incredibly stacked line up arriving in the second half of this year. Many of the films Apple is looking to release may seet hemselves marketed for an awards push.
Apple has several undated films in the works, including Martin Scorsese’s The Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jesse Plemons. Additionally, Apple has acquired the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Winner Cha Cha Real Smooth, feating Dakota Johnson. Unlike Scorsese’s work, Cha Cha Real Smooth has a release date of June 17.
Additionally, Rodrigo Garcia’s Raymond and Ray will most likely see a release sometime this year. The film stars Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke. Peter Farrelly’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever, his first film since Green Book won best picture, will also find itself on the streaming service later this year.
While Smith’s Emancipation is seeing delays, Apple TV+ is still likely to have an incredible year.