Apple Original Films’ “Emancipation,” directed and executive produced by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “The Equalizer”) and starring and produced by Will Smith (“King Richard,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Ali”), will premiere in theaters on December 2, 2022, and globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, December 9, 2022.
“Emancipation” tells the triumphant story of Peter (Smith), a man who escapes from slavery, relying on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family to evade cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom. The film is inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter,” taken during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly. One image, known as “The Scourged Back,” which shows Peter’s bare back mutilated by a whipping delivered by his enslavers, ultimately contributed to growing public opposition to slavery.
“Emancipation” is directed by Antoine Fuqua, from a script by William N. Collage. The film is produced by Will Smith and Jon Mone through Westbrook Studios, Joey McFarland though McFarland Entertainment and Todd Black through Escape Artists. Antoine Fuqua, James Lassiter, Heather Washington, Cliff Roberts, Glen Basner, and Scott Greenberg are executive producing.
Apple TV+ offers premium, compelling drama and comedy series, feature films, groundbreaking documentaries, and kids and family entertainment, and is available to watch across all your favorite screens. After its launch on November 1, 2019, Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world, and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service in its debut. To date, Apple Original films, documentaries, and series have been honored with 276 wins and 1,153 award nominations and counting, including multi-Emmy Award-winning comedy “Ted Lasso” and this year’s Oscar Best Picture winner “CODA.”
Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, and at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. For a limited time, customers who purchase and activate a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy three months of Apple TV+ for free.
MacDailyNews Note: Actors Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, Gilbert Owuor, and Mustafa Shakir (“Soul Assassin,” “Cowboy Bebop,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage” and “The Deuce”) star alongside Smith in “Emancipation.” The ensemble cast also includes Steven Ogg, Grant Harvey, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Jayson Warner Smith, Jabbar Lewis, Michael Luwoye, Aaron Moten, and newcomer Imani Pullum.
So, it is with relative certainty that – you guessed it – Chris Rock was not harmed during the filming of this motion picture.
In May, Variety reported that “Emancipation” would be delayed to 2023 due to Smith’s onstage assault on Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony held on March 27, 2022, but today’s news effectively cancels that delay.
Prior to Smith’s outburst, “Emancipation” once had strong Oscar buzz. Apple would have had a real shot at back-to-back Best Picture awards, after nabbing the big prize for CODA in 2021. Now, all bets are off.
Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after the incident and the Academy’s Board of Governors issued a 10-year ban barring the actor from attending the Oscar ceremony. The injunction does not prevent Smith from being nominated during this period.
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