Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re thrilled to bring you the exclusive reveal of the main trailer for Bilal: A New Breed of Hero. This gorgeous CG-animated film from co-writers/co-directors Khurram H. Alavi and Ayman Jamal tells the tale of the title character, a boy abducted into slavery in ancient times who managed to hold onto his dreams and fight for his freedom, and the freedom of those around him. I can think of no better message to share in these times, or on this day in particular, and I’m very much looking forward to this film’s unique vision and story coming to American shores and theaters around the world.
Bilal: A New Breed of Hero stars Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the voice of adult Bilal; Jacob Latimore as the voice of teenage Bilal; China Anne McClain as Bilal’s teenage sister Ghufaira; Cynthia Kaye McWilliams as Bilal’s mother, Hamama; Michael Gross as Okba the cowardly slave trader; and Ian McShane as the voice of Umayya, Bilal’s evil master. Look for the film in U.S. theaters on February 2nd.
Check out our exclusive reveal of the official trailer for Bilal: A New Breed of Hero below:
And here’s the film’s official synopsis, followed by the powerful messages this story tells and how ‘Martin Luther King Jr. Day’ is the perfect time to both remember and celebrate them:
1,400 years ago, Bilal, a seven-year-old boy, with a dream of becoming a great warrior, is abducted into slavery with his sister and taken to a land far away from his home and thrown into a world where corruption and injustice rule all. Throughout his life he undergoes many hardships, through which he discovers an inner strength he did not realize he possessed. Through these experiences, Bilal comes to realize that if he is brave enough to raise his voice and choose his own path – everything becomes possible. It is through his courage, that he frees himself and ultimately his community; it is through the power of his voice and faith that his lifelong dream of freedom comes true. Bilal grows into a man who will inspire the world.
Power of One
The story “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” is inspired by the true events of the African slave Bilal ibn Rabah, a man whose story is similar to that of Martin Luther King Jr., who believed in the unity of mankind and equality of all people. Bilal used his gifted voice to speak out against injustices and took a stand for freedom despite the risks to his own life. Bilal, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others seeking equality throughout history inspire us all to find our inner power and take a stand for what we believe is right. They remind us of “The Power of One” – the belief that one courageous person can make a difference in this world. A reminder that if each and every person embraces their own inner power it can be manifested as a force for good.
Power of Voice. Power of Change. Power of Faith. Power of Freedom.
Power of Voice – The story of Bilal shows us the importance of having the courage to step up within our communities as teachers and leaders. It inspires us to use our voice to guide others especially the voiceless. We too are called to use our voice to teach, help, and guide those around us.
- Power of Change – The story of Bilal inspires us to continue to seek greater understanding and knowledge of the world around us. Knowledge and the freedom it brings has more power to change the world than any chain or sword ever could. Bilal sought the power to change his own circumstances through knowledge and training. We must also be open and willing to accept new ways of thinking if we hope to change the world for the better.
- Power of Faith – The story of Bilal teaches us to believe that the ability to overcome great obstacles exists within each of us. Whether you believe in a higher power, or the strength of the human spirit, we all rely on our internal beliefs to push us through difficulties in our own lives. When you allow your belief to lift the heavy stones that have been placed upon you just as Bilal did, you find that the limits you previously put upon yourself no longer exist.
- Power of Freedom – The story of Bilal reminds us that there is nothing more powerful than the human spirit and that we all have the same basic natural rights that can never be taken or given away. It teaches us to embrace our inner strength and cast off the chains within ourselves. To embrace freedom is to live without fear of the chains others may try to place around you.
Bilal: A New Breed of Hero storms into U.S. theaters on February 2nd.