While filming of their current projects is interrupted, Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua are planning a slavery thriller.
Will Smith (51, “Men in Black”) will star in the thriller “Emancipation”. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (54, “Training Day”), the true-story film will tell the story of US slave Peter’s escape in the 1860s. The exact schedule of the film project has not yet been determined, according to the industry portal “Deadline”, which spoke to Fuqua about the project.
When does the shooting start?
“As soon as possible” but it should start, the director revealed. The plan is to begin shooting in 2021 when Fuqua finishes Infinity, while Smith is in the middle of King Richard when the corona pandemic has had to be stopped.
“Emancipation” is based on a photo from 1863 that shows the scarred back of a refugee slave who had been medically examined by the American army. Peter’s photo went around the world and became known as “scourged back”, and some traders refused to buy cotton from the southern United States. “It was the first viral image of brutality in slavery that the world had seen,” director Fuqua said.
Attention to detail
The idea for the film had been authored by author William Collage, who Fuqua attested “a lot of depth”. Historical documents and diary entries by Peter are the basis of the script. “It has been almost two years since I read the script. It hit my heart and soul. (…) We are seeing some of the feelings I had in the streets right now,” Fuqua describes his Motivation for the film project.
Fuqua is also certain to have found the perfect lead actor in Will Smith: “He is focused and a serious actor and producer.” Will is important to every aspect of production. (…) There are not many of this kind: Denzel [Washington, ed. R.], Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will, people who dive completely with you. As a director, you can no longer wish for. “