Actor Will Smith’s first film since he slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards, a landmark thriller called “Emancipation,” will debut in theaters in December, a move that makes the film eligible for next year’s Oscars. .
Distributor Apple announced the timing in a statement and released a trailer. “Emancipation” tells the story of a man escaping from slaverywas filmed before Smith attacked Rock onstage in February, but its release date was uncertain.
Smith is banned from attending the Oscars ceremony for 10 years, but is still eligible to be nominated and win.
The actor has publicly apologized to Rock, the film academy and the public for slapping the comedian over a joke about the appearance of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Less than an hour later, Smith won best actor for playing the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard.”
“Emancipation” will be shown exclusively in theaters for one week starting December 2 and will premiere on the Apple TV+ streaming service on December 9, Apple said.
The film was inspired by a true-life story of a man who became known as “Whipped Peter” after Harper’s Weekly published images in 1863 of extensive scars on his back from being whipped as a slave.