Nearly nine months after the slap in the face of Chris Rock at the Oscars, Will Smith will headline the historic film
Will Smith tries to return to the front of the Hollywood scene. After having created a great controversy by slapping Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony which took place last March, the American actor once again wants to be talked about for what he does best: acting in the cinema. In Emancipation , the new film by Antoine Fuqua ( Training Day ), the Oscar-winning actor for his role in The Williams Methodplays Peter, a man who manages to escape slavery thanks to his intelligence, his faith and his love for his family. Pursued by fearsome hunters throughout Louisiana, the man will do everything in his power to survive and preserve his freedom.
Due out December 9 on Apple TV+, Emancipation is inspired by photos of a slave “Whipped Peter” that were taken in 1863 during a Union Army medical examination, before being published in the Harper’s Weekly magazine. One of these best-known photos, titled “The Scourged Back” which shows Peter’s mutilated back, shocked public opinion and shone a light on the brutality of slave-holding America. Alongside Will Smith, we find Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa and Gilbert Owuor. The screenplay of the film is by William N. Collage
Interviewed by Vanity Fair, director Antoine Fuqua explained that the incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock had nothing to do with the release of Emancipation, nor questioned the partnership with AppleTV+. “There was never any conversation between me and Apple or my producers, Todd Black and Jon Mone or Heather Washington, regarding the cancellation of the release. The content of these conversations was more like: ‘We evaluate everything. We see what people say.’ They were very careful about it”. Without forgiving the gesture of Will Smith, Antoine Fuqua, however, made glowing remarks towards the 54-year-old actor. “I have nothing but amazing things to say about Will Smith, really sincerely. You can ask anyone who worked on the film. […] He is the nicest person I have ever met in my life”.