It has been nearly six months since the 2022 Oscars Awards show and according to multiple reports, Apple TV is considering taking the risk that the rest of world hasn’t moved on from the slap that shook this year’s event and release Will Smith’s new movie ahead of next year’s.
Antoine Fuqua-helmed Emancipation, sees Will Smith plays the role of a slave named Peter, who after being nearly whipped to death, flees to the North to join the Union Army in the Civil War. The distribution rights for Emancipation went to Apple after the streaming company emerged winners with a hefty $130 million bid after a fierce bidding war beating the likes of Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Lionsgate and MGM. The film’s release was delayed to a possible 2023 date due to Will Smith’s poor display at this year’s Oscars but that just might change again.
A new report from the New York times revealed that the Apple seems to be caught between releasing Emancipation later this year ahead of next years award show and delaying its release until 2023. According to an anonymous source, a recent test screening for the upcoming film came back “overwhelmingly positive” especially for Smith’s performance with none of the audience being “turned off by Mr. Smith’s recent behavior”. This new information might cause Apple to overlook Will Smith’s fiasco at this year’s event and the Academy’s effort to move on from the matter.
From Ezra Miller going on the run form law enforcement after committing numerous atrocities to the reported feud within the cast and crew of Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, it’s safe to say that a lot more drama has rocked Hollywood since the slap and Apple considering releasing Emancipation especially if it considers the film an Oscar contender only seems fair.
It is worthy to note that despite Will Smith’s resignation from the Academy and his 10 years ban, he is still eligible to receive a nomination and a possible win at the Oscars, he just can’t be present in person to pick it up. Should Apple decide to go ahead with a late 2022 release, it would be interesting to see if the Academy and the world has accepted Smith’s apology and truly moved on from the slap, after all, it has been nearly six months.