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Apple’s Next Big Challenge After ‘CODA’ Oscar Campaign: A Big-Budget Will Smith Movie

Screen Talk digs into the question of what will happen to Smith's next high-profile project. Plus: Why isn't "Everything Everywhere All at Once" playing at arthouses?

Will Smith arrives at the Vanity

As the fallout of this year’s disturbing finale to Oscar season continues, Will Smith’s professional fate is unclear. After his decision to resign from the Academy, he’s been banned from all Academy events for 10 years, and several active projects he was developing have been set aside. However, Smith already has one major follow-up to “King Richard” in the bag: The slavery action-thriller “Emancipation,” a big-budget production directed by Antoine Fuqua that Apple acquired last year. It’s quite the strange predicament for the same company that recently became the first streamer to win Best Picture. Now what?

In this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Eric Kohn is joined by guest co-host Tom Brueggemann as they address that question. (Note: The episode was recorded prior to the Academy’s decision to ban Smith from its events.) The pair also talk about recent updates to the exhibition space, including the success of A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and why it hasn’t surfaced at many arthouse theaters. Brueggemann also has a suggestion for the growing distributor, now valued at $2.5 billion: Create your own specialty label.

The episode also includes Brueggemann’s thoughts about bigger releases and his memories of exhibition maverick Dan Talbot, whose posthumous memoirs were recently released.

Watch the full episode above or listen to it below.

Screen Talk is produced by Azwan Badruzaman and available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify, and hosted by Megaphone. Browse previous installments here, subscribe here, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. 

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