Apple Original Films released a new trailer on Wednesday for the drama Emancipation, starring Will Smith as a runaway slave who goes to extraordinary lengths in his quest for freedom.
The trailer shows Smith as a slave named Peter, who is ripped from his wife and children in the Antebellum South and taken to another plantation.
“I will come back to you,” Peter vows as he’s loaded onto a horse-drawn wagon and taken away with other enslaved men.
Related Story: Lena Waithe Named Ambassador of 2023 American Black Film Festival
A vicious slaver tries to break Peter’s spirit and tells him, “You walk the Earth because I let you.”
After nearly being whipped to death, Peter sets off on a perilous journey for freedom, while being pursued by armed slave catchers and bloodhounds. He must run, hide and brave the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana in his quest for freedom.
The film is inspired by the true story of a slave known as “Whipped Peter,” who joined the Union Army and appeared in an 1863 photograph taken by the Army during a medical examination. The raised welts on his back made it impossible for the rest of the nation to deny the horrors of slavery.
Emancipation also stars Ben Foster, Grant Harvey, Charmaine Bingwa, David Denman, Steven Ogg, Imani Pullum, Mustafa Shakir, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Jayson Warner Smith, Aaron Moten, and Landon Chase Dubois.
The drama is directed by Antoine Fuqua from a script written 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. Chris Brigham, Antoine Fuqua, James Lassiter, Heather Washington, Cliff Roberts, Glen Basner and Scott Greenberg are executive producing.
Emancipation debuts in theaters on Dec. 2 and begins streaming globally Dec. 9 on Apple TV+.