Will Smith follows a dangerous path to freedom in the trailer for Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation. In a change of course, Apple TV+ has announced a theatrical release date of December 2nd and a streaming debut on December 9th, 2022, after previously pushing the film back to 2023 following Smith’s onstage slap of Chris Rock at the Oscars.

The trailer opens with the sight of blood falling onto leaves. “I heard it myself: ‘The slaves are free,'” Peter (Smith) begins. “Says who?” he’s asked. “Lincoln,” comes the reply.

Peter says, “We must get to Lincoln’s army. Five days through the swamp.” When he’s told, “There are many ways to die in a swamp,” his response is as predictable as it is chilling: “There are many ways to die here.”


It may be easy to lose one’s way in the swamp, but Peter has a plan: “Follow the sound of Lincoln’s cannons.” Emancipation is based on a true story with a script from William N. Collage. Check out the first trailer below.

When he first signed on to Emancipation, Smith may have hoped to win an Oscar for the role, though that may be difficult now that he’s been banned from attending the ceremony for 10 years. In an apology video, he said, “I am trying not think of myself as a piece of shit.” Revisit our list of his 10 best film and TV roles now.