Will Smith has opened up about his decision to work on Emancipation. The film debuted on Saturday at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference.
He told The Hollywood Reporter,
“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down many films that were set in slavery. 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.”
“This is a film about the heart of a man—what could be called the first viral image. Cameras had just been created, and the image of whipped Peter went around the world. It was a rallying cry against slavery, and this was a story that exploded and blossomed in my heart that I wanted to be able to deliver to you in a way that only Antoine Fuqua could deliver.”
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Emancipation will release sometime in 2023 on AppleTV+. The movie also stars Ben Foster and Steven Ogg.