Will Smith's 'Emancipation' comes in December

Will Smith’s Emancipation comes in December

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Will Smith's 'Emancipation' comes in December
Will Smith stars in Emancipation, coming to theaters and Apple TV+ in December.
Screenshot: Apple TV+

Still remember why you’re mad at Will Smith? Apple TV+ hopes you’ve forgotten about the “The Slap” by December because that’s when Emancipation staring Smith will reach theaters and the streaming service.

The historical drama is based on the real-life story of a man named Peter, whose saga of escaping slavery made headlines around the world in 1863. A just-released teaser trailer gives a first look.

Emancipation staring Will Smith hits theaters and Apple TV+ this winter

Apple TV+ took home the 2021 Best Picture Oscar for CODA – the first time a streaming service ever won that award – and clearly hopes to do so again with Emancipation. But the situation became a lot more complicated when Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, which got Smith banned from attending Oscars ceremonies for 10 years.

There were rumors that Apple had put the film on the back burner until 2023. But no, Cupertino revealed on Monday that Emancipation premieres in theaters December 2, 2022 and in streaming on Apple TV+ December 9.

At this point, there’s no proof Apple delayed the release. It’s coming out in Oscar season – the time of the year studios typically release films they hope will will Academy Awards. Plus, it reportedly ran into significant COVID-related delays in filming.

Outstanding film might be deliberately overlooked

Lingering controversy surrounding The Slap might obscure what has the potential to be a great film.

While most people might not realize they’ve heard of Peter, the subject of Apple’s next historical drama, a glance at his picture in the Library of Congress could remind them. His back, scarred from brutal whippings, was photographed after he escaped slavery in Louisiana in 1863. Seen around the world, the photo demonstrated the cruelty of slavery in the United States (and later the Confederacy). Some schools still use the shocking image for that same purpose.

Emancipation  will tell Peter’s story, including how he escaped to freedom and joined the Union Army.

A teaser trailer for for film premiered Monday.

Watching will require a $4.99-per-month subscription to Apple TV+. It already offers Tom Hanks starring Greyhound, a WWII historical drama.