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Will Smith Becomes A Freedom Fighter In New ‘Emancipation’ Trailer

Oscar-winning actor Will Smith stars as Peter in upcoming Apple TV+ film Emancipation, which premieres on the streamer December 9.

Will Smith transforms into Peter in upcoming Apple TV+ exclusive film Emancipation. On Wednesday (November 16), an new trailer for the Antoine Fuqua-directed feature was released, with Smith portraying the enslaved Peter before fleeing from Louisiana in the pursuit of freedom. Ultimately the Union Army, Smith escapes vicious bullets, bloodhounds, alligators and slave hunters, baring a heavily whipped back by the trailer’s end.

“They beat me, they whip me, they break the bones in my body more times than I can count. But they will never break me,” Smith says in the Emancipation trailer.

Written by William N. Collage, the epic is inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter,” taken during a Union Army medical examination, which appeared in an Independence Day issue of Harper’s Weekly that detailed the cruelty of American slavery.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Fuqua detailed the hardships the Oscar-winning actor faced while filming Emancipation, also addressing a possible reunion between Smith and Rock since their infamous Oscars showdown.

“It’s really hard to release a character who’s been brutalized and called the N-word every day—constantly, every day—and still be the nicest person in the world,” Fuqua said. “So no excuses for anyone or anything, but I can say that he’s a good man and I hope that people can forgive him and that we can move forward. I hope Chris and Will find a way to sit together publicly, privately, whatever, and make amends.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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