Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, Gilbert Owuor and Mustafa Shakir have joined the cast of “Emancipation,” the runaway slave drama starring Will Smith that’s set up at Apple, according to The Wrap. Antoine Fuqua is directing the film from a script by Bill Collage.
Foster (“Hell or High Water”) in the film will play Fassel, a man who doggedly pursues any enslaved person who attempts to flee to freedom. Bingwa (“The Good Fight,” “Black Box,” “Trees of Peace”) will play Peter’s beloved wife Dodienne. Owuor (“Montana Story,” “Mute,” “Reprisal,” “Calls”) will play Gordon, an enslaved man working at the same camp as Peter. And Shakir(“Soul Assassin,” “Cowboy Bebop,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage” and “The Deuce”) plays Cailloux, a free Black man who serves in the Union Army.
Apple acquired Emancipation for US$120 in a bidding war. Here’s how the movie — which will debt on Apple TV+ is described: Smith plays Peter, a slave who fled a plantation in Louisiana after he was whipped within an inch of his life. He had to outwit cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on a torturous journey north. There, he joined the Union Army. The thriller is based on Peter’s true story and was inspired by the haunting photo of his bare back, scarred from the brutal whipping. The image, which came to be known as “The Scourged Back,” was published by The Independent in May 1863 and then in the Harper’s Weekly. It became indisputable proof of the barbarity of slavery in America, solidified the cause of abolitionists and prompted many free Blacks to join the Union Army.
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