Will Smith’s new film “Emancipation” will be released in December — his first major project since he infamouslyat the Oscars in March. Smith posted a trailer of the movie on his social media pages and called it 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,” he wrote Monday.
The movie centers around Smith’s character, Peter, an enslaved man who escapes a Louisiana plantation and makes his way north. According to Apple, the film was inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter.” One of the images – known as “The Scourged Back” – shows Peter’s bare back mutilated from whippings by his enslavers and it proved to be instrumental in shifting the public sentiment in opposition to slavery.
“Emancipation” will be out in theaters on December 2 and available for streaming on Apple+ on December 9.
The film premiered in an advanced screening during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference over the weekend. NAACP President, Derrick Johnson was in attendance and praised the movie.
“I had the pleasure of watching the film #Emancipation and can’t begin to tell how powerful this is for OUR community and OUR history. It’s a story of adversity, of resilience, of love, and of triumph,” Johnson tweeted.
The announcement of the movie’s release date comes more than six months Smith slapped Rock on stage during the Academy Awards ceremony. Smith hit Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Rock likened Pinkett Smith to movie character “G.I. Jane” because she is bald due to a diagnosis of
Smith apologized to Rock publicly and the Academy announced Smith would be banned for 10 years from any of their events after the incident. While Smith also resigned from the Academy, he is eligible to be nominated and win.