Rihanna, Dave Chappelle, Tyler Perry Join Will Smith for Epic Selfie at 'Emancipation' Screening

The 'King Richard' star receives support from his A-list friends, who also include A$AP Rocky and Kenya Barris, at the special screening for his first movie since the Oscars slap drama.

AceShowbiz - Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and more celebrities have shown support for Will Smith's movie comeback. The couple, along with other stars such as Dave Chappelle and Tyler Perry, stepped out for a private screening of the Oscar winner's new movie "Emancipation" in Los Angeles.

On Monday afternoon, October 24, Smith took to Instagram to share a group selfie from their epic get-together. Also among the guests were awards-winning writer Kenya Barris, music producer Corey Smyth and fashion designer/creative director Fawn.

"EPIC night!!" Smith captioned the snap and another photo taken during the private screening. He added, "Thanx for coming to see #Emancipation. Hope ya'll enjoyed!!"

In the comment, Barris replied, "This night was MAGIC and your movie is truly something that will last forever!" In a separate post, the "Black-ish" creator raved about the film, calling it "true art."

"Emancipation" marks Smith's first movie release since the 2022 Academy Awards, where he slapped Chris Rock, who was on hand as presenter, on stage in March. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the slavery drama was previously reported to be shelved until sometime in 2023 after the Oscars drama.

However, the project has been back on track, as it was screened for the first time on October 1 at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 51st annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by Apple, which won the rights to the film in 2020, and NAACP.

"Throughout my career, I've turned down many films that were set in slavery," Smith said at the event, as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter. "I never wanted to show us like that. And then this picture came along." He added, "And this is not a film about slavery. This is a film about freedom. This is a film about resilience. This is a film about faith."

"This is a film about the heart of a man-what could be called the first viral image," Smith continued sharing. "Cameras had just been created, and the image of whipped Peter went around the world. It was a rallying cry against slavery, and this was a story that exploded and blossomed in my heart that I wanted to be able to deliver to you in a way that only Antoine Fuqua could deliver."

Based on a true story, "Emancipation" follows Peter (Smith), who runs away from his plantation in search of his family, outwitting cold-blooded hunters and surviving the Louisiana swamps along the way. His photo, taken when he joined the Union Army and showed his bare back, which was heavily scourged from an overseer's whippings, was published in 1863, giving the abolitionist movement proof of the cruelty of American slavery.

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