Monday, October 3, 2022

Will Smith, Antoine Fuqua Team for ‘Emancipation’ Based on Incredible True Story of Runaway Slave Peter (Video)

Peter
Peter

*Will Smith will star in director Antoine Fuqua’s thriller “Emancipation,” based on the true story of Peter, a runaway slave forced to outwit cold-blooded hunters and the punishing Louisiana swamp on a tortuous journey to the Union Army and his only chance at freedom. Production is expected to start early in 2021.

At the camp, Peter (also known as “Gordon”) was given a medical examination by doctors. When he removed his rags, they saw the raised welts and strafe marks that crisscrossed his back, extending from his buttocks to his shoulders.

According to the Smithsonian, which tells Peter/Gordon’s story in the video below, the doctors at the union camp took a picture of Peter’s back and it was turned into a carte de visite—a thin paper photograph, mounted on a thicker paper card, made popular in the 1850’s—and recommended to the General that it be spread across the nation, and it was. The widely circulated image of Peter’s wounds helped turn white Northerners against slavery. It became one of the most widely circulated images of slavery of its time, contradicting Southerners’ insistence that their slaveholding was a matter of economic survival, not racism.

William N. Collage penned the script for “Emancipation.”  Smith, James Lassiter  and Jon Mone will produce through Westbrook Studios, along with McFarland Entertainment’s Joey McFarland and Escape Artists’ Todd Black. Fuqua will executive produce under his Fuqua Films banner, alongside Cliff Roberts.

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