Apple Buys Action Thriller Film 'Emancipation' For $120 Million, Largest Festival Acquisition

Apple has purchased the rights to "Emancipation," an action thriller film that will be starring Will Smith and directed by Antoine Fuqua, reports Deadline.

The movie is about Peter, a runaway slave who journeyed north to join the Union Army in the Civil War period. When Peter showed his bare back during an Army medical examination, photos were taken of the scars from a whipping delivered by an overseer on the plantation got published and seen around the world in 1863.

Antoine Fuqua, director of "Emancipation," believes that the film would remind people of the value of telling stories of the past to create a better future. "You can’t fix the past, but you can remind people of the past and I think we have to, in an accurate, real way. We all have to look for a brighter future for us all, for everyone. That’s one of the most important reasons to do things right now, is to show our history. We have to face our truth before we can move forward,” he said.

Described as biggest-ever film festival acquisition, Apple said to have spent $120 million for the film package to outbid Warner Bros. and others. The film was introduced at the Cannes Virtual Film Market.

Production of "Emancipation" set to start in early 2021. The movie will premiere in theaters first and then expand to worldwide on Apple TV+.

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