‘Emancipation’ Trailer Shows Will Smith Escaping Brutal Slavery During American Civil War

Emancipation trailer
Emancipation trailer

“What can a mere man do to me?” Peter (Will Smith) says to his family as he reassures them with words of God in the opening section of the new trailer of Emancipation.

Peter, the character played by Smith — one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, is inspired by the real-life story of Gordon, a slave who escaped his brutal owners in the 1860s and joined the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Gordon was also given the name ‘Whipped Peter’ for the horrific scars on his back due to constant whipping he received during his slavery. The 1863 photograph of his back became one of the most powerful evidences of the atrocities committed on slaves and strengthened the abolitionist movement.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the trailer of the highly anticipated film by Apple TV+ was released on 16 November.

What we know about Emancipation so far

Trailer shows Peter taking great risks

Will Smith
Image credit: IMDb

The Emancipation trailer shows Peter putting his life on the line as he plans his escape across swamplands from a plantation in Louisiana. The other slaves are not so confident, yet some of them are convinced to take the risk and join Peter in the escape.

Hunting dogs are let loose after them as slave hunters launch a pursuit. Peter is seen trying to put them off his trail by any means possible, including jumping into waters infested with alligators.

As the trailer progresses, Peter succeeds in joining the Union Army but now he must return to the plantation to save his family.

“I fight them. They beat me. They whip me. They break the bones in my body more times than I can count. But they never, never break me,” Peter says.

The monochrome trailer ends with a shot of a photographer taking a picture of his back, which bears the scars from the whiplashes he was subjected to.

Cast and crew of Emancipation

Emancipation also stars actors including Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, Mustafa Shakir, Timothy Hutton and Steven Ogg.

The story has been written by William N. Collage. Fuqua, Chris Brigham, James Lassiter, Heather Washington, Cliff Roberts, Glen Basner and Scott Greenberg serve as executive producers. Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Westbrook Studios’ Smith and Jon Mone and McFarland Entertainment’s Joey McFarland serve as producers.

Emancipation will be released in theatres on 2 December 2022 and will be available for streaming on Apple TV+ on 9 December 2022.

(Main and Featured images: IMDb)