Will Smith is getting Oscar buzz again but can he still be nominated?

Will Smith is getting Oscar buzz again but can he still be nominated?
Emancipation trailer

Will Smith's trailer just dropped for his upcoming movie, Emancipation – and people are already calling it an Oscar-worthy performance.

Smith, 54, resigned from the Academy on April 1, five days after he slapped comedian Chris Rock, 57, on stage on March 27. The Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson banned the actor from attending Academy events for 10 years.

The open letter read: "This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behaviour is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy,” they wrote. “We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted."

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Smith's movie Emancipation follows the true story of a man's journey to escape slavery through the swamps of Louisiana, as he makes his way North, where he joins the Union Army.

The newly released trailer did not disappoint, with one Twitter user saying "he’d have had a legitimate shot at his second Oscar in a row" if it weren't for the scandal earlier this year.

As for whether the King Richard star could actually be nominated for a future Academy Awards, it turns out he can.

"Although Will Smith resigned from the Academy and has been banned from attending the Oscar ceremony for the next 10 years, he is still technically eligible to be nominated and even win another award," Entertainment Weekly Awards Correspondent Dave Karger told PEOPLE.

Karger added: "But he wouldn't be able to accept the award in person if he were to win."

Emancipation is set to hit cinemas in December 2022, followed by a release on Apple TV+ a week later.

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