‘Variety’ exclusive: Will Smith’s high-profile new action-thriller ‘Emancipation’ has been delayed.
Apple originally planned to let the film be released this fall to compete for the next Oscar season. Smith was also considered to have the potential of the next Oscar winner, but because of his Oscar slap incident and other reasons, the film has now been quietly moved to 2023 year.
“Emancipation” is a very popular project in 2020, and Apple won a lot of money in the Cannes Film Festival market at the time, and it is said that the cost may exceed 120 million US dollars.
In the film, Smith plays a real person: Peter, a black man who escaped from slavery in the American South after being tortured. He is the protagonist of the famous “evidence” photo of American slavery.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day” “The Equalizer”), filming is now complete.
“Emancipation” has never been officially finalized, but the source said that this film was originally an important project for Apple in the next awards season, and it will be launched this year (should be theater + streaming). Now, everyone has a problem Written consensus: The film won’t come out this year.
The source also said that Apple has been discussing whether to keep “Emancipation” at the rhythm of this fall, but it seems unlikely that this idea will happen.
The important reason for the delay is naturally that Smith slapped Chris Rock at the just past Oscars ceremony, which caused a lot of criticism, and was also banned by the Academy from participating in any Oscar-related events for the next ten years, including the awards ceremony.
Before this year’s Oscars, an unnamed filmmaker revealed to “Variety” that he had seen some clips of “Emancipation”, and believed that Smith could win the Oscar for two consecutive years (the first year refers to this year’s Oscar.
Now we already know that Smith won the Best Actor trophy with “King Richard”, and he has been very vocal before the award, the filmmaker means that “King Richard” and “Emancipation” can be respectively for him. win an Oscar).
After the slap incident, if “Emancipation” is released next, the most frequently asked topic during the promotion period of the film must be related to the slap incident. Out of such concerns, the filmmakers want to release the film after a while.
However, although the beating incident is an important factor in the delay of the film, it is not the only one.
It is said that there are also some reasons, such as Fuqua is still nervously doing the post-production of the film, and the production progress may not necessarily catch up with the schedule planned for this year.
The filming of this film was full of twists and turns. First, due to local protests against election restrictions, the filming location was changed from Georgia to Louisiana, and the filming was affected by Typhoon Ida, and the production was temporarily suspended due to the new crown epidemic… Progress several times put off.
In addition, Apple will release a lot of films in the second half of the year, and there are also many projects that can be launched during the awards season, and there are also film festival markets such as Cannes, Venice, Telluride, and Toronto that can buy films. “Emancipation” will be postponed until the next release Session is not impossible.
Apple did not respond to the report.
According to previously exposed information, the style of “Emancipation” is described as more like “Apocalypto” directed by Mel Gibson than “12 Years a Slave”.
The story comes from Peter’s real experience: he escaped from slave owners, endured the pursuit of cold-blooded hunters and the dangerous swamps of Louisiana, all the way north.
When he fled to the Union Army and was examined, Peter revealed the scars on his back that he had been whipped by the overseer in the plantation.
This scene was captured in the famous photograph “the scourged back”, which appeared in the Independent in May 1863, and in “Harper’s Weekly” on July 4 of that year.
The photo became one of the evidences of the brutality of slavery in the United States. After its release, it promoted the abolition movement and prompted many free blacks to join the Union Army and spread around the world. It is rumored that this photo caused countries such as France to refuse to buy from the American South. cotton.
The film has a real historical background, but at its core is an emotionally charged action thriller that focuses on Peter’s life-threatening journey to escape his slave owners.
On the way, he used onions to cover up his smell, evaded the pursuers with dogs, relying on his own strength and wisdom, wading through the swamp barefoot for 10 days…