Will Smith in March with his Oscar for »King Richard«: The actor may not take part in the gala next year – but he could be nominated
PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP
It's been less than a year since Hollywood star Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock in the face at the Oscars.
He had made a joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith - the actor's wife suffers from hair loss.
The scandal made headlines worldwide and overshadowed the gala.
As a result, Smith publicly apologized and resigned from the Oscars Academy.
He was also banned from all Oscar ceremonies for ten years - but he can still be nominated for an Oscar.
A dilemma began for Apple with the slap in the face: the company is said to have paid more than a hundred million dollars for the worldwide rights to the slavery drama »Emancipation«.
The prestige project was filmed in the summer of 2021, with Will Smith taking on the leading role.
By the time he got physical at the Oscars, the film was already done.
So the question was: what to do?
The answer has now been found: The film by director Antoine Fuqua will be released in December, Apple surprisingly announced on Monday and published a teaser of almost two minutes.
"Emancipation" is scheduled to hit theaters on December 2nd and stream on Apple TV+ a week later.
With the theatrical release before the end of the year, the film formally qualifies for the Oscars in 2023.
»Emancipation« is based on a true story from 1863. A badly abused slave managed to escape from a cotton plantation in the US state of Louisiana to the north of the United States.
The man was nicknamed "Whipped Peter".
The image of his whip-scarred back, featured in Harper's Weekly, won public opinion over to the abolitionists who wanted to abolish slavery.
Historical fabrics often have good chances at film awards such as the Oscars.
Will Smith won an Oscar for best actor at the last awards ceremony for his role in the film »King Richard«.
There was great hope that this triumph could be repeated with »Emancipation«.
But then came the slap in the face.