Will Smith held a star-studded private screening for his upcoming movie Emancipation, attended by an A-List group of friends, including Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, and Dave Chapelle.
The slavery drama marks the actor’s comeback following his now infamous appearance at the 2022 Oscars where he slapped host Chris Rock on stage.
The rapper-turned-Hollywood movie star took to Instagram on Monday night (Oct. 24) to thank his friends for coming. He shared a pair of images from the screening featuring Rihanna, A$AP, Chappelle, Kenya Barris, Tyler Perry, and more.
“EPIC night!! Thanx for coming to see #Emancipation. Hope ya’ll enjoyed!!’ Will Smith penned in the caption.
After seeing the movie, Tyler Perry and Kenya Barris shared their praise for Emancipation via Instagram.
“I’m still haunted by ‘Emancipation,’” Perry wrote. “It’s truly powerful, moving and captivating. And the conversation afterwards with this group was legendary. Thank you, Will Smith, for the preview.”
While Barris added, “Emancipation is true art, power and everything else a film should be. You got one, Will Smith.”
Will Smith stars as a runaway slave in the Antoine Fuqua-directed Emancipation. Based on a true story, the movie follows his character “Whipper Peter” on his escape from a Louisiana plantation to join the Union Army.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hit Will Smith with a 10-year ban over his actions at the 2022 ceremony. Despite concerns that the project could be shelved, the director, who said Smith was “incredible” in the move, was confident of a release date.
Emancipation premieres in movie theaters on Dec. 2 and begins streaming on Apple TV+ on Dec. 9.