Will Smith, Antoine Fuqua’s 'Emancipation’ Enters the Oscar Race With New Trailer
This week, Apple has announced the highly anticipated movie Emancipation, by Antoine Fuqua and starring Will Smith, will indeed premiere in time for this Oscar season. They also released a new poster and a trailer.
The movie will premiere in theaters on December 2, 2022, and globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, December 9, 2022. The announcement was made following an advance screening of Emancipation hosted together with the NAACP during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, where Fuqua, Smith, and Mary Elliott, curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, participated in a conversation about the film moderated by politics and culture commentator Angela Rye.
Check out the trailer here:
The synopsis reads as follows:
“Emancipation” tells the triumphant story of Peter (Smith), a man who escapes from slavery, relying on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family to evade cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom. The film is inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter,” taken during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly. One image, known as “The Scourged Back,” which shows Peter’s bare back mutilated by a whipping delivered by his enslavers, ultimately contributed to growing public opposition to slavery.
Ben Foster (Hell or High Water), Charmaine Bingwa (The Good Fight), Gilbert Owuor (Montana Story), and Mustafa Shakir (Soul Assassin) star alongside Smith in Emancipation. The ensemble cast also includes Steven Ogg (Snowpiercer), Grant Harvey (Animal Kingdom), Ronnie Gene Blevins (Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It), Jayson Warner Smith (The Walking Dead), Jabbar Lewis (Terminal List), Michael Luwoye (The Gifted), Aaron Moten (Next), and newcomer Imani Pullum.
The following poster was also revealed:
Emancipation is directed by Antoine Fuqua, from a script by William N. Collage. The film is produced by Will Smith and Jon Mone through Westbrook Studios, Joey McFarland through McFarland Entertainment, and Todd Black through Escape Artists. Antoine Fuqua, James Lassiter, Heather Washington, Cliff Roberts, Glen Basner, and Scott Greenberg are executive producing.
Apple found themselves in a tricky situation after the Will Smith Oscar debacle a few months ago, and it was unknown if the movie would actually make it out this year as they were anticipating, or if they would hold it for another year to let things cool off. Since the studio will be promoting Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon in 2023 (after being originally intended to come out this year), Smith’s reps probably convinced the actor to put out an apology video during the summer so that Apple could start promoting the movie. That doesn’t necessarily mean the apology wasn’t sincere, which it probably was, but the timing was definitely suspicious.
That being said, in the aftermath of what happened at this year’s ceremony, Smith was banned from all Academy events, including the Oscars, for ten years. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t be nominated or even win an Oscar in that same period of time — he just can’t go on stage to accept it, because he won’t even be able to enter the building. It is highly unlikely, though, that the Academy will nominate him this year given the circumstances.
Emancipation will premiere in theaters on December 2 and then on Apple TV+ on December 9.
Miguel Fernández is a Spanish student that has movies as his second passion in life. His favorite movie of all time is The Lord of the Rings, but he is also a huge Star Wars fan. However, fantasy movies are not his only cup of tea, as authors like Scorsese, Fincher, Kubrick or Hitchcock have been an obsession for him since he started to understand the language of filmmaking. He is that guy who will watch a black and white movie, just because it is in black and white.