Will Smith’s first post-slap film ‘Emancipation’ pushed back to 2023: report

Will Smith fans are waiting longer and longer for the actor’s return to cinema.

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

A source close to the situation reportedly told the publication it’s an “unspoken truth” that the film won’t be coming to the streaming platform this year. It was originally supposed to be released at the film festivals in the fall.

Smith’s performance in the unreleased flick has already caused a stir when an anonymous filmmaker told Variety that he’d seen previous footage and hinted, “Will is going to win back-to-back [Oscars].”

Emancipation would have been Smith’s first film release since beating Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars in March. That night he won his first-ever Oscar for portraying Venus and Serena Williams’ father in King Richard.

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

Will Smith beats Chris Rock
Will Smith beat comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars on March 27.
Getty Images

A number of Smith’s projects appear to have been affected by the Oscar incident. According to a Bloomberg source, Netflix has reportedly canceled a sequel to the 53-year-old’s 2017 action film Bright. A separate Netflix film and a film for Sony have also been shelved.

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

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