Three weeks after Apple launched Antoine Fuqua Emancipation in Washington DC, star Will Smith performed for an intimate crowd in Los Angeles that included Rihanna and her boyfriend ASAP Rocky, Tyler Perry, Kenya Barris, music producer Corey Smyth, celebrity stylist Fawn Boardley and writer and producer Esa Lewis, among others.
Perhaps the most notable guest in the room – aside from Smith – was Dave Chappelle.
The superstar comedian recently wrapped up a sold-out European arena tour when he faced his co-director Chris Rock, who was slapped on stage by Smith at the Oscars. The slap was seen around the world which resulted in Oscar-winning best actor Smith being banned from showing for 10 years.
During the wits in the months since the Oscars, Rock hasn’t shied away from addressing that slap even though he kept most of his comments relatively brief. However, just last month at a UK show, both Rock and Chappelle spoke on the subject to Rock saying, “the bastard hit me for a bullshit joke, the best joke I’ve ever had. tell.” Chappelle also took aim at Smith, saying that he has “had the impression of a perfect man for 30 years”.
While it’s unclear how they came together for this special screening, several attendees took to Instagram to share how special it was, and Smith called it “EPIC night!!” Barris opened up a little more, posting that “this night is really a night for books! A wonderful and wonderful group of friends came together to witness the RIGHT ART. “
He continued: “The conversation that followed was the impact of anything and everything that we as creators do in this industry hope for.” He credits Chappelle for hosting the show and the comedian is seen in one of the images talking to other guests presumably during post-film dialogue.
“I am still haunted by Emancipation,” wrote Perry. “It’s really powerful, moving and captivating. And the conversation that followed with this group became legendary. Thanks to Will Smith for the preview! “
Based on a true story, Emancipation follows Peter (Smith), a slave man who runs from his plantation in search of his family, defeats cold-blooded hunters, and survives Louisiana swamps along the way.
Fuqua directs and executive produces Emancipation from a screenplay by William N. Collage. The film is produced by Smith and Jon Mone through Westbrook Studios, Joey McFarland through McFarland Entertainment and Todd Black through Escape Artists. Chris Brigham, James Lassiter, Heather Washington, Cliff Roberts, Glen Basner and Scott Greenberg served as executive producers.
The film will be released in select theaters on December 2, before hitting Apple TV+ on December 9.