Emancipation: Release date, cast, synopsis, teaser & more

‘Emancipation’ follows the journey of a black man named Peter in the 1800s who escapes from slavery. He relies on his instincts to outrun dangerous killers in his ambition to reunite with his family.

Release date

‘Emancipation will release theatrically on December 2, 2022 and will stream globally on Apple TV+ from  December 9, 2022.

Cast & creators

  • Will Smith as Peter
  • Ben Foster as Fassel
  • Charmaine Bingwa as Dodienne
  • Mustafa Shakir as Cailloux
  • Grant Harvey as Leeds

Written by William N. Collage

Directed by Antoine Fuqua


“Emancipation tells the triumphant story of Peter (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.”

Other details

The film is based photos of “Whipped Peter”, taken in 1863 during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly.

One image, known as “The Scourged Back”, which showcased Peter’s back bruised by a whipping given by his enslavers, ultimately added to the growing public opposition to slavery.


Peter speaks to his fellow slaves about Lincoln’s orders to abolish slavery. He plans to escape his captors through a swamp and reach Lincoln’s army by following the sound of the canons.

His only motivation is the desire to get back to his family as he fights his way to freedom.

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