‘Emancipation’ Teaser: Will Smith Enters The Oscar Race With Antoine Fuqua’s Slavery Drama

Apple was said to be considering its options about the release of Emancipation, the big-budget slavery drama starring Will Smith. I think the concern over “The Slap” is a bit overblown, but the studio was concerned about how it would impact the film’s release and potential awards hopes. Well, they’ve made a decision, and not only will it open this December, but a new teaser is here, too.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Emancipation stars Smith as “Whipped Peter”, a slave given that name because of famous images of his scarred back from the whippings he received. The film follows Peter’s escape from a Louisiana plantation, outwitting slave hunters as he heads up north to join the Union Army.

The teaser reveals scenes of Peter’s harrowing journey, the dangers he faces, and of course, the violence he is trying to get away from.

DC was the host of Emancipation‘s world premiere over the weekend, shown for the first time at the NAACP’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Legislative Conference, followed by a discussion at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. I would’ve liked to have been there but was out of town. If any of our readers were present, please shoot us a message and let us know how it was.

Emancipation opens in theaters on December 2nd followed by Apple TV+ a week later.


Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.