Will Smith's 'Emancipation' gets unexpected Apple TV+ release date

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 3
Delayed by a lawsuit and Will Smith's infamous Oscar slap, Apple TV+ has announced "Emancipation" will be in theaters and streaming in December.

"Emancipation" has not had the easiest production, with COVID halting filming, and producers moving shooting away from its Georgia location over the state's voting laws. Then came a sexual harassment lawsuit, and Will Smith causing controversy by hitting Chris Rock during the Academy Awards.

After that Oscars slap, Variety said that it was "the unspoken truth" that the film was being pushed back into 2023 to distance it from the news. However, Apple's has seen its hopes for back to back Oscar wins -- following "CODA" in 2021 -- fading after critical flops such as "Luck" and "The Greatest Beer Run Ever."

Official Teaser -- Emancipation

Inspired by a true story, an enslaved man embarks on a perilous journey to reunite with his family. #Emancipation, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Will Smith, premieres in theaters December 2, streaming on Apple TV+ December 9 pic.twitter.com/sSj4o2ajw1

-- Apple TV+ (@AppleTVPlus)

With Martin Scorsese's "Killers of the Flower Moon" not ready in time for this awards season, Variety believes Apple sees "Emancipation" as its best shot.

Consequently, the Apple TV+ tweet announcing the film's release includes a one-week theatrical window. "Emancipation" will be released in theaters on December 2, 2022, before streaming on Apple TV+ from December 9.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 12
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 406member
    Nope don’t want to see anything with Will Smith in it near future. 
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  • Reply 2 of 12
    The Academy awarding a film that has an actor attached to it who has been banned from the ceremony for 10 years seems like a very very long longshot, but anything can happen i guess!
  • Reply 3 of 12
    ronnronn Posts: 559member
    I thought it would release in late November, but I think the producers & Apple pushed it till December to give some distance from the Black Panther movie premiere on 11/11. I don't think there was ever any doubt that it would be released this year. My brother and his family attended a special screening in DC this past weekend.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    gilly33 said:
    Nope don’t want to see anything with Will Smith in it near future. 
    Glad I'm not alone.  And it's not just because of the "slap" incident.  When he and wife boycott the 2016 Oscars because not enough minorities were winning just invalidated any future winners if you ask me.  Do people win now due to excellence in performance or just because they are part of a quota?
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  • Reply 5 of 12
    Shame on you, Apple. For a company with such a strong social conscience this move is truly perplexing. Actors are now free to commit assault & battery and then face no tangible consequences? “That’s how we roll” said son, Jaden. Sorry, but they are a family unworthy of the fame and fortune they have garnered. The worst of nouveau riche
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  • Reply 6 of 12
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,795member
    Apple, you fire people for small mishap or behavior. But, release a movie on AppleTV+ who were critised by all most all for showing violent behavior on world premier award ceremony stage. Apple, please explain do no wrong standards, you proud of ?
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  • Reply 7 of 12
    gilly33 said:
    Nope don’t want to see anything with Will Smith in it near future. 
    Agree. Never liked him before the slap. Always thought he was super egotistical and I was right. 
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  • Reply 8 of 12
    amar99amar99 Posts: 150member
    The investors want their money back, with a profit, and are willing to look the other way so long as they get paid. Morality is relative to their bottom line.
    edited October 4 lkrupp
  • Reply 9 of 12
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,245member
    Smith is an ok actor but not as good as he thinks he is. My real problem with Smith is the way he lets his wife publicly disrespect him on many levels. She's done it for years and he seems to be fine with it, more or less. She's a big part of the reason for the The Slap, but as he once said, he's "a grown-ass man" and didn't need to open his mouth or slap Rock just because his wife rolled her eyes.

    The vast majority of his movies aren't really good enough for me to separate them from the actor, so I haven't been aware of anything he may have done since is wife b-slapped him on her podcast. She didn't like his objection to her use of "entanglements" to describer her extramarital activity. Now he says they're in an open marriage. If he was to make a fighter pilot movie, his call sign would be Doormat.

    I think the backlash would be pretty bad if Apple were to bin the movie, but it would be an awesome move. Maybe there is a movie maven or two who knows if a studio has cancelled a release on principle, not just for bad optics, timing, or failing in test markets.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,183member
    amar99 said:
    The investors want their money back, with a profit, and are willing to look the other way so long as they get paid. Morality is relative to their bottom line.
    I harken back to the time when actor Charlton Heston read aloud the filthy lyrics to a rap song at a Time Warner shareholder meeting. They were from an album by Ice-T distributed by Time Warner. Shareholders were outraged and offended at hearing those lyrics but he reminded them they were reaping the profits from those lyrics. For those who don’t remember those lyrics included having sex with Tipper Gore’s twelve year old nieces
  • Reply 11 of 12
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,183member
    Will Smith is just another case of a Hollywood actor coming to believe they are above it all and not subject to the social rules the rest of us are.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    I think I've had an overdose of Will Smith. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was entertaining and he was watchable in some other movies. I loved The Pursuit of Happiness. However, I agree with @gilly33 - no more Will Smith for a while.

    I'm hoping Black Adam dominates the awards season!! 
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