Will Smith’s First Post-Slap Film ‘Emancipation’ Pushed Back to 2023: Report

Will Smith fans are increasingly waiting to see the actor’s return to the movies.

Apple and Smith’s production company Westbrook Studios is pushing back the release of its action drama “Emancipation” to 2023, Variety reported.

A source close to the situation told the publication “it’s the unspoken truth” that the film will not be released on the streaming platform this year. It was originally scheduled to appear on the film festival circuit this fall.

There’s already buzz surrounding Smith’s performance in the unreleased film, with an unnamed filmmaker who saw earlier footage telling Variety that “Will be going to win twice in a row. [Oscars].”

“Emancipation” would have been Smith’s first movie outing since slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars in March. He won his first-ever Oscar that night for portraying Venus and Serena Williams’ father in “King Richard.”

The Post has reached out to representatives for Apple and Westbrook Inc. for comment.

Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
Getty Images

A number of Smith’s projects were apparently affected by the Oscar incident. Netflix reportedly canceled a sequel to the 53-year-old action movie “Bright” in 2017, according to a Bloomberg source. A separate Netflix movie and a movie for Sony have also been put on hold.

However, Smith will appear on Season 4 of David Letterman’s Netflix talk show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction”. The series drops May 20, although Smith’s episode was filmed before the Oscars.

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