Will Smith compares his upcoming film Emancipation to Django Unchained and explains how Tarantino’s film didn’t appeal to him thematically.
In a new interview, Will Smith compares his new Apple TV + movie Emancipation to the Oscar-winning film by Quentin Tarantino Django Unchained. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, known for his work on Training day, equalizer, and 2016 Magnificent Seven remake, Emancipation tells the story of “Whipped Peter”, an American slave depicted in one of the best known and most haunting photographs of the era of slavery. The film is currently in production in New Orleans after withdrawing from Georgia due to the controversial change in state election laws.
Peter, played by Smith, is said to have escaped Confederate custody in 1893 and, after a grueling 10-day trek through Louisiana, he joined the Union Army and returned to the South to fight for liberation. more Americans enslaved. Emancipation marks Smith’s first film in his career that deals directly with slavery. Smith turned down the role of Django in 2012 Django Unchained due to creative differences with director Quentin Tarantino, a role that later went to Jamie Foxx.
In a new interview with GQ, Smith thoughtfully compared Emancipation with Django Unchained and briefly explains why he ultimately didn’t move forward with Tarantino’s bloody revenge film during the days of slavery. After discussing his earlier career goals and philosophies in terms of how he wanted to portray black people in movies, Smith explains the main differences between Django and his current project – and why he chose one over the other – revolve around the themes of the films. . Read his full comment below:
âI have always avoided making films about slavery. At the start of my careerâ¦ I didn’t want to show black people that way. I wanted to be a super hero. So I wanted to represent black excellence alongside my white counterparts. I wanted to play roles that you would give Tom Cruise. And the first time I thought about it, it was Django. But I didn’t want to make a revenge slavery movie.
Several years later Django came out, Smith revealed that he wanted the film to be more of a love story than a revenge story, a thematic shift that ultimately proved too big for Tarantino and Smith to overcome. As for Smith’s career philosophy, where he would try to play roles that showcase black excellence or play roles that one might see playing a great player like Tom Cruise, Smith seems to have had the more success. Movies like Independence Day, Men in Black, Bad Boys, and I’m a legend have all been big hits while some of Smith’s other picks like Gemini Man, Suicide Squad, and After Earth did not fully hit the mark.
Nonetheless, Smith’s comments create a new lens through which to analyze his career. Many of his choices that may not have come to fruition now have a new context, and while they may not have been good or successful films, one can appreciate what Smith was trying to accomplish in his career. career. While Jamie Foxx was certainly a good candidate for Django Unchained, it would have been interesting to see what Smith could have brought to the role and how the film would have been received had it been more about love than revenge. From the limited information available, it appears that Emancipation will represent a version of slavery much more grounded and crude than Django and that the two films will vary greatly in tone, but audiences will have to wait and see for themselves when Emancipation releases at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.
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