The movie is directed by Antoine Fuqua, and was expected to be the first release following the 2022 Oscars slap incident involving Chris Rock, which resulted in him being banned from attending the Oscars and other Academy-related events for 10 years.
It was expecting to be Apple’s next potentially big awards season favorite after CODA. A source familiar with the situation said “it’s the unspoken truth” that the action-drama will not arrive in 2022. They also revealed there have been “ongoing internal discussions between Apple executives and the filmmakers on how a release in the fall could move forward, but it seems highly unlikely,” via the report.
An anonymous filmmaker who saw an early preview of the footage sang its praises, and said “Will’s going to win back-to-back.”
Despite the controversy, multiple sources also told Variety that the movie is still deep in post-production and may not be ready in time for a 2022 debut anyway amid pandemic delays. There is also a packed schedule for Apple in the second half of the year, which may have also caused the shuffling.