The actor's first post-Oscars movie has been called "powerful" and "gut-wrenching"

The trailer for Apple TV Plus’s historical action thriller Emancipation, starring Will Smith, has arrived.

Helmed by Training Day and Olympus Has Fallen director Antoine Fuqua from a script by William N. Collage, Emancipation is set in the 19th Century and follows an enslaved man named Peter (Smith) who escapes from a Louisiana plantation after being brutally whipped and heads North in search of his family – where he later joins the Union Army. Photos of his injured back were published by the press in 1863, providing the abolitionist movement with proof of the barbarity of American slavery.

The cast includes Ben Foster, Mustafa Shakir, Grant Harvey, Steven Ogg, Charmaine Bingwa, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Timothy Hutton, Michael Luwoye, Gilbert Owuor, and Iamni Pullum.

“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down many films that were set in slavery,” Smith said at the film’s debut screening in Washington DC at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference (via The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)). Smith and Fuqua conducted a Q&A session after the premiere. “I never wanted to show us like that. And then this picture came along. And this is not a film about slavery. This is a film about freedom. This is a film about resilience. This is a film about faith.”

Emancipation will be released in select theaters in the United States on December 2, 2022, before hitting Apple TV Plus on December 9.

For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2022 and beyond, or, skip right to the good stuff with our roundup of movie release dates.

Lauren Milici

Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent’s Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more. Her first collection of poetry, “FINAL GIRL,” sold out of print. Her second collection, “Sad Sexy Catholic,” is forthcoming in 2023.

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