Don’t expect Oscar-winner Will Smith’s “Emancipation” in 2022. Originally expected to hit the fall festival circuit later this year, the actor’s next film from Apple, co-produced by his Westbrook Studios affiliate, plans to hit the ground running. Delaying the film’s release to sometime in 2023.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”), the film would have been Smith’s first release after he assaulted comedian Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards. As a result, he was banned from attending the Academy Awards and other Academy-related events. for 10 years.
Although the studio hasn’t officially dated “Emancipation,” it was expected to be the next potential awards project of the year after winning Best Picture for “CODA.” Although Apple has not shared an official date, a source familiar with the situation said “it is the unspoken truth” that the action drama will not hit the platform in 2022. However, the same source also revealed that there are internal discussions underway between Apple managers executives and filmmakers on how to proceed with release in the fall, but it seems highly unlikely.
In the weeks leading up to this year’s Oscars, hype was already building about “liberation.” Tell a director, who asked not to be named diverse Ahead of the Oscars, they watched early footage from the movie: “Will will win back-to-back.” At the time, the quote was referring to him winning Best Actor for “King Richard.”
Smith’s altercation with Rock will be a dominant theme surrounding the promotion of the film, whether or not Smith is involved. While the slaps controversy is a prominent factor in the expected turnaround, several sources have shared that Fuqua is still deep in post-production and may not be ready in time for the 2022 arc. The film has been subject to numerous delays due to production being moved from Georgia to Louisiana in protest. On state voting restrictions laws, the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida and the shutdown due to COVID cases in August 2021.
Another element that contributes to Apple’s packed slate in the second half of the year. Many of her films can be marketed for big prizes.
The company took home the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival’s “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” with Dakota Johnson making an appearance on June 17, before unveiling the recently acquired Skydance Animation “Luck” feature on August 5. In addition, Apple owns several undated movies expected, notably Martin Scorsese’s “Moon Flower Killers” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jesse Plemons. The Oscar-winning director of The Departed is also still in the editing room with longtime collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker. Scorsese is best known for his lengthy process of finishing his films, and although the film wraps in September 2021, the $200 million film may also face a potential transition to 2023.
This year Apple is still expected to feature Rodrigo Garcia’s “Raymond & Ray” with Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke, and Peter Farley’s “The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” his first film since “Green Book” won Best Picture. Additionally, the company has a few documentaries in the pipeline, including the untitled Sidney Poitier doc from Reginald Hudlin, “Blacks and Blues: Louis Armstrong’s Colorful Song” from Sasha Jenkins and “The Voice of 007” from Matt Cross white.
That doesn’t include any acquisitions that may emerge from Cannes, less than two weeks away, and the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals on the horizon.
“Emancipation” by Bill College and also starring competitor Amy Ben Foster (“Survivor”), tells the story of a runaway slave trying to escape from his plantation owners. He also serves as producers Todd Black, Joey MacFarland, and John Moon.
Apple Original Films has no comment.