Will Smith’s attempt to resurrect his career after the debacle at the Oscars has begun as he makes appearances to promote “Emancipation,” his new movie, directed by Antoine Fuqua for Apple TV+.

Smith was on “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah last night, and while I saw a little bit of the spark that used to make Smith a happy, funny, money-in-the-bank guest, he seemed somewhat tentative in his responses. To make matters worse, he didn’t quite have the talk-show-ready answers to the questions he had to know were coming. That surprised me, considering movie stars of his status have teams of advisers and publicists who should have done a better job preparing him for these moments.

As I have written, Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage during the Oscarcast wasn’t the kind of incident a star can’t recover from. After all, producers are still hiring Mel Gibson, whose IMDb page lists a whopping eight movies he’s made this year. I don’t know that anyone has actually seen any of them, but that’s not the point.

I plan to watch “Emancipation” when it begins streaming on December 9th, and hope it’s as good as both Smith and Fuqua have proven their projects can be.