“Emancipation”, the film with which Will Smith returns to the cinema after controversy at the Oscars

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES.- Less than a year after Will Smith impressed millions of people slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars, his new movie “Emancipation” it will be released in December, Apple said Monday.

It had been assumed that the drama about the slavery had been postponed after the widely condemned episode that led to Smith’s exclusion from the Academy Awards ceremony for a decade.

Butpple made the surprise announcement, saying that Smith’s latest film would be in theaters on December 2, and on his platform AppleTV+ a week later.

With these dates, Apple could nominate “Emancipation” for the Oscar ceremony in March, a year after making history by becoming the first streaming platform to win the largest Hollywood statuette for the best film with “CODA”.

The actor has kept a low profile since the night he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in “King Richard: A Winning Family”minutes after attacking Rock for making a joke about his wife.

The Hollywood star publicly apologized after the incident, posting a video on social media in July discussing what happened and offering to meet with Rock “whenever you’re ready to talk.”

Smith, 53, also resigned his membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scienceswhich although it prohibited him from participating in his biggest ceremony for a decade, did not block him from being nominated or withdraw his statuette.

Smith participated this weekend in an advance screening of “Emancipation” organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Washington DC.

The film presents Smith as a runaway slave on a hard journey in search of freedom in the northern Louisiana, in the United States.

His character, Peter, is inspired by the infamous photograph of a slave whose back was mutilated by whipping on a plantation, and who was nicknamed “Peter the Scourged”.

It was directed by Antoine Fuqa, whose 2001 police drama, “Training Day”earned him an Oscar for best actor Denzel Washington.

The shooting of “Emancipation” was originally planned to be in Georgia, But the production changed scenery after the southern state passed an electoral law that, according to critics, seeks to reduce the participation of blacks and other underrepresented communities.