Will Smith is set to star in the new slavery thriller Emancipation, directed by Antoine Fuqua, who has directed films like Training Day, and has worked with film legends Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington. 

Based on a true story, the 51-year-old megastar will portray Peter, a runaway slave forced to flee and outwit slave hunters and endure the Louisiana swamp on a tortuous journey to the North and the Union Army for a chance at freedom. 

Production for the film is expected to begin in early 2021. The movie will be made available domestically and internationally, and will also be introduced to buyers at the upcoming virtual Cannes market. 

Smith, James Lassiter and Jon Moe will all serve as producers for the film through Westbrook Studios, alongside McFarland Entertainment’s Joey McFarland and Escape Artists’ Todd Black. Fuqua will executive produce with Cliff Roberts under his Fuqua Films imprint. 

Both Smith and Fuqua were working on films before production was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The renowned actor had to cease filming King Richard, in which he portrays the father and coach of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams. Additionally, Fuqua had begun post-production on Paramount’s action thriller Infinite.

Will Smith is also set to star in the humorous Father’s Day documentary “Dads” alongside Kenan Thompson. The documentary will be available on Apple TV+ June 19th.