Much is said about Hollywood’s obsession with recounting and displaying the suffering of people of African descent before and during the United States Civil War. There are those who find it unpleasant to see such exploitation of the black past for entertainment. Among those who criticize this is actor Will Smith, who reveals that he deliberately avoided these kinds of stories his entire career and, in particular, turned down the offer to star in Django Without Chains – 87% for a similar reason.
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In an interview with GQ, Will Smith He explained that for much of his career he stayed away from movies in which he had played slave roles. It was important to him to show that he could be a Tom Cruise-style action star. And that it was because of his vengeful approach that, the one time he almost did it, he ended up rejecting the lead of Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s film about a black man who gains his freedom and rescues his girlfriend from his owner:
I always avoided making movies about slavery. In the early years of my career, I didn’t want to show black people in that light. I wanted to be a superhero. I wanted to represent black excellence alongside my white colleagues. He wanted the roles that would be given to Tom Cruise. For the first time I considered Djando, but I didn’t want to make a slavery movie about revenge.
In the past, Smith had already spoken on this subject and explained that while on paper he loved the idea of a black cowboy saving his girlfriend, who had been robbed and enslaved, he and Tarantino could not agree on the tone of the film. . The actor wanted to make a love story, not a revenge story. Eventually, as we know, the role went to Jamie Foxx and the film is one of the director’s fan favorites.
This came up again for discussion because Smith is working on Emancipation, the first film about slavery that he will star in. In that film, to be directed by Antoine Fuqua, he will play Pete, an enslaved man who escapes from a plantation in Louisiana and has to be smarter than hunters who are after him to finally be free and join the army of the north. This project did have the angle you would have liked on Tarantino’s:
This is about love and the power of black love. And that’s something I could just deal with. We are going to make a movie about how black love makes us invincible.
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The film will be his next big project after a series of films that have not turned out as expected. Although the most recent installment Bad Boys Forever was a success – 87%, just before the pandemic, previous films like Project Gemini – 40% have failed to have the impact that the action star has had for decades.
Emancipation is an original Apple TV + title and has a hefty $ 120 million budget. It is one of many with which the platform hopes to attract talent and become the new must-have streaming service. There is no release date yet as production was halted a couple of times in the wake of the pandemic. We will most likely have to wait until 2022 to see it.
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