'Emancipation': Apple releases trailer for Will Smith's first movie since Oscars slap, fans label it 'powerful'

'Emancipation': Apple releases trailer for Will Smith's first movie since Oscars slap, fans label it 'powerful'
Will Smith as Peter in the official poster of 'Emancipation' (Apple TV+)

At this year’s Academy Awards, Will Smith stunned the world when he walked onstage and slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face during Rock’s presentation for Best Documentary Feature. Even though he went on to win the Best Actor accolade for ‘King Richard’ later that evening, the aforementioned dented his popularity and as a result, the actor was banned from attending Hollywood’s biggest night for the next 10 years. However, it was announced that he still can get nominated for an award and it seems that Smith might be looking like a frontrunner for another acting award as Apple just released the first trailer for the upcoming movie ‘Emancipation’.

The movie tells the triumphant story of Peter (Smith), a man who escapes from slavery and embarks on an unnerving journey to leave behind the cold-blooded hunters and swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom. The upcoming film is inspired by the infamous photos of ‘Whipped Peter’, taken during a Union Army medical examination that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly.

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The trailer sees Smith’s Peter escaping from the clutches of slavery and trying to get to Abraham Lincoln’s army because the President has announced that “Slaves Are Free”. “There are many ways to die in a swamp,” a man warns Peter. To which, Peter replies, “There are many ways to die here.”

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Will Smith in a still from 'Emancipation' (Apple TV+)
Will Smith in a still from 'Emancipation' (Apple TV+)

The rest of the trailer includes extraordinary shots of Smith’s character fighting soldiers, harsh climatic conditions, and a crocodile. As soon as the trailer surfaced online, fans flooded social media with amazing reactions. Although a lot of people mentioned the “slapping incident” in their comments, most of the fans were really impressed by the first look and shared that they can’t wait to see this one.

One of the fans said, “Can’t make a mistake these days. Will has proven over and over he’s a good actor and a good guy and the one time he messed up… Twitter. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie.” Another social media user wrote, “I will look forward to seeing this movie!! Welcome back Will we all make mistakes.” Another user tweeted, “I smell another Best Lead Actor nomination! (real talk though, looks really good).”
Meanwhile, there were some who loved the trailer but had some problems with Smith’s accent. One user said, “The trailer actually looks great. Accents are a mess but will overlook.” Another user said, “Damn. That was a powerful trailer.” Another user wrote, “We need more movies like this. They are replacing all the history not being taught in schools.”

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The movie recently held an advance screening during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC The screening was hosted together with NAACP where Smith and director Antoine Fuqua participated in a conversation with politics and culture commentator Angela Rye.

The reactions from the screening were extremely promising and praised the movie for turning history into absorbing filmmaking.

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The film also stars Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, Gilbert Owuor, and Mustafa Shakir in pivotal roles.

‘Emancipation’ is scheduled to hit theatres on Friday, December 2, 2022, and will be available for streaming on Apple TV+ on December 9.

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