Will Smith Seeks Freedom in Emancipation Trailer After the Oscar Slap – The Hollywood Reporter

Will Smith evades cold-blooded hunters and dangerous Louisiana swamps for freedom in trailer for Apple’s slavery movie liberate, release, free, dropped on Wednesday.

Antoine Fuqua’s film, which tells the triumphant story of Peter (Smith), a man who escaped slavery, was inspired by 1863 photographs of “Peter being whipped,” taken in a medical examination of the Union Army, first appearing in Harper’s WeeklyJuly 4 and became irrefutable proof of the inhumanity of slavery in America.

In the trailer (below), Peter’s pain and suffering in the face of the brutality and barbarism of slavery is shown through Smith’s gritted character having to dodge hunting dogs, fish, and fish. American crocodile and slave hunter, only to be left with a bare back scarred from close collisions. – fatal blow.

“They beat me, they whipped me, they broke my bones so much that I can’t count. But they’ll never let me down,” Smith’s stubborn character says at one point in the trailer.

After escaping to freedom, Peter joined the Union Army. When he was exposed bare back during a military medical examination, the photos showed the scars left by a warden on a plantation owned by John and Bridget Lyons. independence published the photograph, called The Scourged Back, in May 1863. The photograph eventually contributed to increasing public opposition to slavery.

The Apple thriller marks Smith’s first major film since he infamously slapped Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Academy Awards, an incident that saw best actor finally win the award. Oscar was banned from the awards ceremony for 10 years.

In an interview with Vanity Fair published Tuesday, Fuqua said that no one involved in the film ever had a conversation “about the movie.” Not coming soon” in the wake of the Oscars, but Apple has been “very careful” in assessing the situation.

“My dialogue has always been, ‘Isn’t 400 years of slavery, brutality, more important than one bad moment?’, the director said. “We were in Hollywood, and there were some really bad things that happened, and we’ve seen a lot of award recipients who did some really bad things. So I think Apple has looked at all of that and we’ve discussed a lot of that. Then a decision was made by the people in charge of distribution and money at Apple — and I am grateful.”

liberate, release, free, written by William N. Collage, is an Apple Original Movie produced by Smith, Jon Mone, Joey McFarland, and Todd Black. Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, Gilbert Owuor and Mustafa Shakir also star in the film.

Fuqua shares executive producer credits with Chris Brigham, James Lassiter, Heather Washington, Cliff Roberts, Glen Basner, and Scott Greenberg. It opens in theaters on December 2, and globally on Apple TV+ from December 9.


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