Will Smith's Apple TV+ movie 'Emancipation' gets a slap in the face — it's been delayed

Will Smith At The Oscars
Will Smith At The Oscars (Image credit: Variety)

What you need to know

  • Will Smith's Apple TV+ movie could be set for a 2023 release after what was supposed to be a 2022 window.
  • Emancipation suffered various delays during production and isn't thought to be quite ready.
  • Smith's slap of Chris Rock during the recent Oscars is also thought to have been a factor in the delay.

Will Smith's upcoming Apple TV+ movie Emancipation looks set to be delayed until 2023 following the Oscar-winner's slap of Chris Rock at this year's awards event. However, a new report suggests that might not be the only reason for the delay.

Apple TV+ had said that Emancipation was part of its 2022 lineup without giving a firm release date, but Variety now reports that the streamer has taken the decision to hold off until 2023. The decision was said to have been partly thanks to the altercation with Rock at this year's ceremony that has seen Smith banned from attending for the next 10 years.

However, the same report notes that post-production of the movie is still ongoing, with other delays having already pushed things further through the calendar than had previously been expected.

Smith's altercation with Rock would be a dominating topic surrounding promotion for the film, whether Smith was involved or not. While the slap controversy is a prominent factor in the predicted shift, multiple sources shared that Fuqua is still deep in post-production and may not be ready in time for a 2022 bow. The film suffered numerous delays due to moving the production from Georgia to Louisiana in protest of the state's voting restrictions laws, the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida and the pause due to COVID cases in August 2021.

Apple Original Films, the name that Apple creates its movies under, is yet to comment and we're still waiting for any kind of official release date for a project that was shaping up to be another potential Oscar-winner for Smith. That now seems less likely for obvious reasons.

Once it does finally arrive, Emancipation will tell the story of a slave and his escape from plantation owners and you'll need an Apple TV+ subscription to watch at home. At $4.99 per month, that subscription becomes even better value as more content arrives with big hits like Severance and Ted Lasso already available to stream today.

If you want to enjoy Emancipation and other Apple TV+ shows in style, be sure to check out our list of the best Apple TV deals on the market today.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.