Written by Kianna Best on Oct 5, 2022. Posted in Awards and Festivals

Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation brings Will Smith back to the Oscars conversation

Apple Original Films revealed their first trailer for Antoine Fuqua’s gripping slavery thriller Emancipation. Starring Will Smith, the film is set to be released on the streaming platform on 2 December 2022. The first screening of the film was shown at an event between Apple and the NAACP during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Legislative Conference



Following the controversial events of this year’s Academy Awards, many did not think of anything else when mentioning Will Smith and the Oscars in the same sentence. However, with his emotionally heavy tease of his role in the recently released trailer for Emancipation, his undeniable acting talent may be coming to the forefront once again.



Telling the story of Peter, played by Smith, the film follows the man’s escape to freedom making his way through the Louisiana swamps. Driven by his love for his family, Peter narrowly dodges cold-blooded hunters all the while relying on pure desperation for freedom. The film is inspired by the 1863 images taken during a Union Army medical examination of “Whipped Peter”. The famous image known as “The Scourged Back” portrays the brutally beaten slave’s mutilated back as a result of the treatment from his enslavers.



Following Apple Original Films’ success with their Best Picture winning Coda at this year’s Oscars ceremony, the platform is aiming for another award-winning streak. Producers include Smith and Jon Mone through Westbrook Studios, Joey McFarland of McFarland Entertainment  and Todd Black of Escape Artists. Fuqua, along with directing, will also serve as executive producer, in addition to  James Lassiter, Heather Washington, Cliff Roberts, Glen Basner, and Scott Greenberg.


Images courtesy of Apple TV+


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