Will Smith enters the Oscar Race (Again).

In a raw new trailer for Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation,” Will Smith’s Peter endures the horrors of slavery and eventually escapes, makes a run for freedom and enlists in the Union army.

Per the film’s official logline: “‘Emancipation’ tells the triumphant story of Peter (Will 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.”

The “Emancipation” trailer concludes with images of Peter’s whipped back, specifically a reenactment of an image known as “The Scourged Back,”The publication, which was published in 1863, was instrumental in raising public awareness and opposition to the sinful nature of the slave trading.

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The film’s palette remains almost sepia in visual tone, as Smith’s narration about an unbroken spirit sells Fuqua’s grim and presumably violent true-story drama as empowering and uplifting. It teases at least a hint of a R-rated action drama from the director. “The Magnificent Seven,” “Tears of the Sun”And “The Equalizer.”

Apple is planning an extensive awards campaign. It has received positive early buzz and Apple held a star-studded opening in Washington D.C. on last month. The film was then screened for Los Angeles Lakers several days later. Actual reviews are still under embargo. Much of the discussion around the film is still taking place in the interim. “Emancipation” will presumably revolve around Smith’s controversial Oscars slap, in which he walked to the stage and slapped host Chris Rock in reaction to a joke related to Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith was expelled from the Academy and banned from attending any Oscars galas for the next 10 years. That, however, doesn’t mean “Emancipation” and its participants, including Smith himself, can’t find themselves up for Academy consideration.

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“The film to me is bigger than that moment,” Fuqua Telled Vanity Fair on the matter. “Four hundred years of slavery is bigger than one moment. My hope is that people will see it that way and watch the movie and be swept away with the great performance by Will and all the real hard work that the whole crew did.”

“Emancipation,”It stars Smith, Charmaine Baingwa, and Ben Foster. The play will air theatrically Dec. 2, before being available on Apple TV+ Dec. 9. It is directed and executive produced in part by Fuqua and written by William N. Collage. Westbrook Studios Joey McFarland, McFarland Entertainment for McFarland Entertainment; and Todd Black for Escape Artists.

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