The new movie Emancipation’s trailer has just been released; watch it down below to see Will Smith make his big-screen comeback.
The new movie is about a slave named Peter (played by Smith) who sets out on a quest to become free. Peter plans his escape in the two-minute trailer after learning about the Emancipation Proclamation.
Peter sets off on a protracted and difficult trek across Louisiana’s swamps, guided by his cunning, unshakeable faith, and love for his family while dodging slave catchers and other dangers.
The 1863 image of “Whipped Peter,” an enslaved man who enlisted in the Union Army in the goal of being reunited with his family, served as the inspiration for the movie.
The image of the man with a terribly broken back from whippings served to highlight the atrocities of slavery and strengthened white Northerners’ opposition to it. Given that the image was taken just before the American Civil War, it also demonstrated the significance of the media during times of war.
In an interview with Deadline following the film’s first showing in Washington D.C. on October 1, director Antoine Fuqua commented on Smith raising the bar with his acting in the film.
“Will [Smith] is on a whole different level, in this film. Incredible,” Fuqua said, while Smith wrote on his Instagram page: “This was the hardest movie I’ve ever made. Blood, Sweat & Tears… LITERALLY! Shoutout to Apple who doubled (and tripled) down on their commitment to deliver this epic story to the world.”