NEW YORK (AP) — After holding “Emancipation” in limbo following Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards in March, Apple will release the actor’s next big project in December.
The fate of the $120 million runaway slave thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua had been uncertain.
One of Apple’s most high-profile productions yet, the film had once been expected to be a potential Oscar contender this year.
But an awards-season rollout of a film headlined by Smith has obvious complications as Smith is banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years.
Apple TV+ will debut “Emancipation” on Dec. 2 in theaters and stream it on Dec. 9.
In March, Smith walked onto the stage and slapped Rock after he joked about how he was looking forward to a sequel to "G.I. Jane" because of her shaved head.
Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, which causes hair loss.
“Jada, I love you, 'G.I. Jane 2,' can't wait to see it," Rock said.
After the joke, Smith got up out of his seat, walked up to Rock, and slapped him.
Once he sat back down, Smith shouted to Rock, “keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.”
Smith apologized to Rock months later.
In April, the motion picture academy banned Will Smith from attending the Oscars or any other academy event for 10 years, the Associated Press reported.