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Will Smith Fights for His Freedom in New Film 'Emancipation'

One of the biggest actors of all time will be making his way back to the big screen.

Will Smith will be the featured star in Emancipation. The trailer was released by Apple Original Films on Wednesday. Emancipation will be released in theaters Dec. 2 and will stream globally on Apple TV+ Dec. 9.

In the movie, Smith stars as Peter who escapes from slavery, which forces him to rely on his instincts, faith, and deep love for his family all the while running from slave hunters through Louisiana to find freedom.

Emancipation is based on the 1863 photos of ‘Whipped Peter,’ which was taken amid a Union Army medical examination that appeared first in Harper’s Weekly, according to

In one photo from a set of images entitled “The Scourged Back,” it displays Peter’s wounded back after a tumultuous whipping from his enslavers, which is a photograph that played a huge role to “growing public opposition to slavery,” according to the synopsis.

Folks watching the three-minute-long or so trailer of the Antione Fuqua-directed movie can see Peter when he is separated from his family by enslavers. He then decides to bolt to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, attempting to convene with the Union Army amid the Civil War.

The trailer teases a fight with an alligator in the swamps of Louisiana as a group of slave hunters led by Ben Foster’s character search for him. It looks as if Peter makes it far enough to join the Union Army and fight in at least one battle in the war.

Emancipation also features Charmaine Bingwa, Gilbert Owuor, Mustafa Shakir, Steven Ogg, Grant Harvey, Ronnie Gene Bivens, Jayson Warner Smith, Jabbar Lewis, Michael Luwaye, Aaron Moten and Imani Oullum.

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