Emancipation trailer shows Will Smith’s epic struggle for freedom

Emancipation trailer shows Will Smith’s epic struggle for freedom

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'Emancipation' trailer shows Will Smith’s epic struggle for freedom
Will Smith and Ben Foster star in Emancipation, coming to Apple TV+ in December.
Photo: Apple TV+

Emancipation starring Will Smith portrays one man’s fight through unthinkable terrors to reunite with his family. It is based on the real-life story of Peter, whose saga of escaping slavery made headlines around the world in 1863.

A trailer for the upcoming Apple TV+ film premiered Wednesday revealing top-quality acting and cinematography.

Emancipation staring Will Smith hits theaters and Apple TV+ in December

While most people might not realize they’ve heard of Peter, the subject of Apple’s next historical drama, a glance at his picture in the Library of Congress could remind them. His back, scarred from brutal whippings, was photographed after he escaped slavery in Louisiana in 1863. Seen around the world, the photo demonstrated the cruelty of slavery in the United States (and later the Confederacy). Some schools still use the shocking image for that same purpose.

Emancipation will tell Peter’s story, including how he escaped to freedom and joined the Union Army. The film premieres in theaters December 2, 2022 and in streaming on Apple TV+ December 9.

The first full trailer highlights the acting talents of Will Smith and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma). The director is Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), and the film was written by William N. Collage.

Apple hasn’t given up on Oscars

Emancipation premiers in Oscar season – the time of the year studios typically release films they hope will will Academy Awards. And it might have been a shoe-in for multiple nominations and it could have taken home a few trophies.

Then came “The Slap” in which Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscar-presentation ceremony in March, which got Smith banned from attending further Oscar ceremonies for 10 years.

Whether the Academy will turn its nose up at a project Smith stars in and produced remains to be seen.