New “Emancipation” trailer: Will Smith could get the next Oscar right away

A new trailer has been released for the slave drama “Emancipation”, which makes one thing clear: Will Smith has never acted as intensely and emotionally as here.

Many a star has disappeared into obscurity after winning an Oscar. The pressure to do the same thing again, to deliver an Oscar-worthy performance once again, is great. So big that the film prize is sometimes more like the end of a career than inspiring her. For Will Smith, who won the film industry’s most coveted award for Best Actor at the 2022 Academy Awards for his performance in “King Richard,” the silence has a different reason.

On the night that should have propelled him to the top of his already impressive career, he instead slammed it with peloton. And he alone is to blame: The 54-year-old comedian Chris Rock gave a resounding slap in the face in front of everyone present and the whole world for a tasteless joke in the middle of the stage, which reverberates to this day.

The punishment followed immediately: all of Hollywood has turned its back on Smith. Film projects have been canceled or paused, and completed works are being held back indefinitely by studios and streaming services. Director Antoine Fuqua’s (“The Equalizer”) mix of slave drama and war film “Emancipation” is also affected. The ambitious film follows the real life of the black slave Peter, who escapes from a plantation in Louisiana, USA, and joins the Union army in the American Civil War. A Black & White photowhich shows Peter’s back disfigured by the lashes of the whip, bears witness to the atrocities that befell the slaves to this day.

You can get “Django Unchained”, Quentin Tarantino’s grandiose fever dream about revenge, on Blu-ray via Amazon

The $120 million film should have been released long ago via the Apple TV+ streaming service, but Apple initially pulled the ripcord in the wake of the slap scandal. One probably feared a flop. Now there was a first performance in front of an audience, which was also attended by Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua (via The Hollywood Reporters). The actor was emotionally touched:

“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down many films set during the slavery era (‘Django Unchained’ ed.). I never wanted to show us like this. And then came this movie. And it’s not a film about slavery. It’s a film about freedom. It’s a film about resilience. It’s a film about faith. It’s a film about a man’s heart – what could be called the first viral image. Cameras had only just been invented and the picture of Peter being whipped went around the world. It was an outcry against slavery. And that story exploded and blossomed in my heart. And I wanted to convey it to you in a way that only it could [Regisseur] Antoine Fuqua did.”

After a first teaser trailer, Apple released a new trailer a few weeks before the release, which reveals more about the plot. Will Smith’s acting is particularly intense:

The trailer is so overwhelming and emotionally charged that one can’t help but think that Smith’s next Oscar nomination could be imminent. The only obstacle might be the unfortunate slap scandal. Nominating Smith again and/or even awarding him the award for best leading actor might, in the eyes of some, send the wrong signal. Nevertheless, the probably best performance of his career is in the offing. That alone counts.

“Emancipation”: Audience demands release of “powerful film” and receives it

Will Smith has seen Emancipation with an audience for the first time. And judging by early reviews, the film has such a strong impact that it would have been a shame to continue withholding it from global audiences. Apple TV finally came to terms and finally set the launch date, “Emancipation” will be released later this year: from the December 2, 2022 in US theaters and onwards December 9, 2022 streaming via Apple TV+. The film still has a good chance of making it into the 2023 Oscar race and earning Smith the next Best Actor Oscar nomination straight away, even if he’s disqualified from the awards ceremony itself.

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