Apple has a blockbuster movie on its hands, and Will Smith has an Oscar performance, depending on who has seen it. But both have everything to lose.

With months of delay, Apple TV + finally dares to release Towards Freedom (Emancipation), the film for which he paid 130 million dollars to sweep the Oscars , and in which Will Smith seems to embroider his role as Scourged Peter. But one way or another, both will lose out.

Emancipation deApple TV+, which in Spain will be called Towards Freedom, with how easy it would be to call it Emancipation to respect the original title, tells the true story of Gordon, nicknamed Scourged Peter or Scourged Peter. He was a black slave who was nearly flogged to death on a Louisiana plantation. He managed to escape and joined the Union Army during the Civil War.

The photos of Scourged Peter’s back were published in 1863, and were key to mobilization during the American Civil War, which ended slavery. The photograph of Gordon’s back continues to impact 159 years later:

Directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by William N. Collage, Emancipation stars Will Smith as Scourged Peter, and Ben Foster. You can see the trailer in the opening video of the news.

Apple acquired the distribution rights to the film by paying $130 million. Filming was finished at the beginning of the year and it was scheduled to be released in the summer or fall, to put it in the running for the Oscar. But then the Will Smith “incident” happened. The famous slap at the Oscars.

Apple has made private screenings of the film, and leaks claim that it is an Oscar candidate, including Will Smith’s performance, which they describe as ” volcanic .”

Unfortunately for everyone involved, Into Freedom is in a Lose-Lose situation, as they say in Hollywood. Whatever they do, they will all be criticized. The slapping incident is not closed, as Chris Rock refuses to talk to Will Smith.

There were rumors that Apple would delay the premiere to 2023, until the waters calm down and it can compete in the Oscars in 2024. But many would dismiss it as cynical and profiteering, for putting their commercial interests first. And if he releases it now, Apple’s reputation would suffer for supporting the “aggressor.”

He has finally decided to release it on December 2 in theaters and on December 9 on Apple TV +. This date is a declaration of intent: “We are going for the Oscar”, and that is going to make Hollywood very angry, which has not yet forgiven Will Smith. There is going to be more talk about the slap than about the film, and whether it is nominated or, worth it, it is not nominated, everyone is going to be criticized.

Technically, even though he’s been banished from the Hollywood academy for 10 years, Will Smith may be an Oscar nominee. But no one is betting on seeing the actor again collecting his second statuette, after what happened a year earlier. Certainly a true Lose-Lose situation, both for Apple and for the members of the film.

Towards Freedom (Emancipation), Will Smith ‘s return to the cinema in an Oscar role, opens on December 2 in theaters, and on December 9 on Apple TV + . The controversy is guaranteed.