Another setback for Will Smith; Apple reportedly delays his 'Emancipation'
Hollywood A-lister Will Smith has been facing the heat ever since he lost his cool on the Academy Awards stage this year and slapped comedian Chris Rock. After multiple studios delayed or canceled his upcoming projects, Smith will now have to wait till 2023 for his Apple Studios project Emancipation to come out. The film won't be making its expected 2022 date, said reports.
- Smith's popularity undoubtedly took a hit after the slapping incident.
- The actor not only got banned from the Oscars for 10 years but had his projects canned or postponed across studios, including Netflix and National Geographic.
- Naturally, Emancipation, slated to be his first release since the incident, had a lot riding on it.
- But it seems the Aladdin star's "emancipation" is yet to come.
Backed by Apple and Smith's production company, Westbrook Studios, Emancipation is now apparently looking at a release date next year. According to a source, quoted by Variety, "it's the unspoken truth" that the action drama will no longer hit the Apple TV+ streaming platform this year. While there's a discussion ongoing for a fall 2022 release, the chances of that happening are "highly unlikely."
The release of Emancipation in 2022 was not officially confirmed. But industry insiders have speculated it to be the streaming platform's next awards season bet after tasting victory with CODA, which won big at the Oscars, including the Best Picture Award. Also, the success of Emancipation would've meant back-to-back actor nominations for Smith, too, who won his first Oscar with King Richard this year.
While makers wouldn't want the promotions to be dominated by slap-gate chat and a postponement makes sense, there might be another reason for the delay. Reportedly, director Antoine Fuqua is still stuck in post-production, and making it to a 2022 slot might be hard. Also, Apple's slate for 2022 is filled with several awards-worthy projects, including Cha Cha Real Smooth and Raymond & Ray.
Although Smith's big-screen return will take some time, he's soon going to appear on David Letterman's Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, as a guest. However, since it's a pre-taped episode, we won't be getting any comments on the controversy.