Directed by Antoine Fuqua, “Emancipation” follows Peter, “a runaway slave forced to outwit cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on a tortuous journey North where he joined the Union Army.”
Pic will be produced by Apple Studios, alongside Smith and his Westbrook Studios, Fuqua and his Fuqua Films, Escape Artists’ Todd Black and Joey McFarland of McFarland Entertainment. James Lassiter and Jon Mone will serve in a producing capacity through Westbrook. Cliff Roberts is exec producer.
Apple bid against other companies like Warner Bros for the rights to the film, finally closing a deal at over US$120 million (after factoring in backend gross buyouts). The report says that the relationship between Apple video executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht with Will Smith was a factor in Apple winning the deal.