USA | Oct 4, 2022

After the Slap: Will Smith returns to big screen in ‘Emancipation’

Mikala Johnson

Mikala Johnson / Our Today

Actor Will Smith.

The much-anticipated slavery thriller Emancipation, starring Oscar winner Will Smith, will be released later this year.

The 54-year-old took a step back from the spotlight earlier this year after the infamous incident involving fellow actor and comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Academy Awards ceremony, over a joke regarding wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

Smith apologised for his actions and resigned from the Academy, with confirmation later coming that the actor had been banned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a decade.

Rumours had suggested Apple Film could delay its release of Emancipation until 2023, after Smith slapped host Chris Rock on stage at the awards ceremony, in March.

But fans will not have to wait until next year to watch the film. Emancipation will now open in cinemas on December 2 and will be available to stream a week later, making it eligible for next year’s Oscars.

The movie is based on the true story of ‘Whipped Peter’, an enslaved man who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and joins the Union Army during the Civil War in the 1860s.

Photos of his scars from a whipping, taken during a medical examination, were published to become a damning indictment of slavery.

Emancipation was just one of Simth’s projects that had been shelved in the wake of the Oscars incident, but a spokesperson for Apple TV+ announced that it will now be released in December of this year.


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