Will Smith Responds After The Movie Held After Oscars Slap, Emancipation, Finally Releases Its First Trailer

While the Academy Awards occurred back in March, there’s still a ton of discourse about one viral incident: Will Smith infamously slapping Chris Rock on national television shortly before winning his first Oscar for King Richard. After keeping himself out of the public eye for a number of months, Smith returned to public spaces and social media. And he recently responded after Emancipation, aka the movie held after The Slap, finally releases its first trailer.

Following the Oscars slap, a number of Will Smith’s upcoming projects were seemingly put on hold. Chief among them was Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation, which stars the acclaimed actor as an emancipated slave who joins the Union Army to fight against the South. The movie recently got a trailer and official release date for those with an Apple TV+ subscription, which is a major step forward. Smith took to Instagram to share his reaction to finally seeing the project move forward, saying:

This was the hardest movie I’ve ever made. Blood, Sweat & Tears… LITERALLY! Shoutout to Apple who doubled (and tripled) down on their commitment to deliver this epic story to the world.

After a year away from the public eye, Will Smith is once again going to be gracing screens big and small when Apple releases Emancipation this December. In fact, the movie recently had its early screenings. We’ll just have to wait and see how much marketing is done for the upcoming drama, and how involved Smith will end up being. After all, the chatter surrounding The Slap hasn’t exactly quieted down in the months following.

Will Smith’s post makes a great deal of sense, as Emancipation finally took some major steps forward after there was no news for a series of months. During that time Will Smith went in a meditation retreat, and issued a multiple apologies to the public, Academy, and Chris Rock. Now the drama will officially be released on Apple TV+ on December 9th. You can check out the first moving trailer below,

The footage offered in this teaser is limited, but definitely highlights the “blood sweet and tears” that Will Smith mentions shedding throughout the filming process. It looks like a role that’s both physical and emotional, given the subject matter and action sequences involved. And Apple TV+’s release date should also make it eligible for Awards Season, including next year’s Academy Awards.

Although if Emancipation ends up being an Oscars favorite, Will Smith will seemingly be watching the ceremony from the comfort of his own home. One of the ways the actor/producer/recording artist was disciplined for The Slap was being banned from the Academy Awards for a decade. He also dropped out of the Academy.

Emancipation will hit Apple TV+ on December 9th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.