Will Smith's 'Emancipation' bags a whole load more cast members for Apple TV+

Apple TV+ Apple TV interface
Apple TV+ Apple TV interface (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Will Smith is working on an Apple Original Film called Emancipation.
  • Emancipation has collected a number of new stars ahead of continued filming.
  • Steven Ogg, Grant Harvey, and Ronnie Gene Blevins are just three of the new cast members.

Emancipation is an Apple Original Film led by Will Smith that already has names like Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa assigned to it, but now the Apple TV+ effort has yet more — a lot more.

According to an exclusive Deadline report, the thriller has picked up quite a few new cast members as it readies for more filming.

Over to Deadline:

Antoine Fuqua's Apple thriller Emancipation has rounded out its cast, with Steven Ogg (Snowpiercer, Westworld), Grant Harvey (Animal Kingdom, The Crossing), Ronnie Gene Blevins (The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Joe), Jayson Warner Smith (The Walking Dead, The Birth of a Nation), Jabbar Lewis (upcoming Amazon series The Terminal List, Adventure Force 5), Michael Luwoye (The Gifted, Prodigal Son) and Aaron Moten (Next, Disjointed) signing on.

The movie is already filming in New Orleans and will tell the story of Peter Smith, a man who escapes from slavery. The whole thing is inspired by the 1863 photos of "Whipped Peter" that were taken during a Union Army medical examination. The images helped grow support for the ending of slavery due to their graphic content.

Deadline again:

Ogg will play Confederate Sergeant Howard, with Harvey and Blevins as Confederate soldiers Leeds and Harrington. Smith will play Capt. John Lyons, the wealthy owner of the plantation where Peter is enslaved, with Lewis as the enslaved Tomas, and Luwoye as the enslaved John, who bears the brand "R" for "runner." Moten will portray Knowls, a mixed-race man who serves as slave catcher Fassel's (Foster) sidekick, and is viewed as a traitor by the enslaved men.

With new people still being brought into the movie there's no official window for when we can expect Emancipation to be ready for us to watch, but it's definitely one to watch out for.

If you want to enjoy Emancipation in style once it's available you could do much worse than check out our collection of the best Apple TV deals on the market today. The Apple TV not only offers a way to stream Apple's content, but also the likes of Netflix, Disney+, and more as well.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.