Chiwetel Ejiofor in ‘12 Years a Slave’/Photo © Fox Searchlight Pictures
On October 18, viewers will finally get to see Steve McQueen’s movie adaptation of the stunning memoir 12 Years a Slave, written in the 1850s by Solomon Northup. With a cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhané Wallis from “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Sarah Paulson of “Mud,” and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northrup, expectations for McQueen’s film are through the roof. Today, we get another peek at the epic tale with the release of the television trailer.
McQueen’s previous film, the titillating “Shame” starring Michael Fassbender as a sex-addicted thirty-something, spared nothing in its approach to a loaded topic. Our expectation is that McQueen will employ the same raw energy and direction to “12 Years.”
Northrup’s memoir recounts the years following his enslavement. Northrup was born a free man – but on one fateful day, he is kidnapped, drugged, and sold into slavery in Louisiana. What follows is a decade-plus of his quiet wish to find the freedom that was once his. And when that wish comes true, Northrup takes his case to the courts.
Ejiofor, who first caught this writer’s attention in 2006’s stunning dystopian film “Children of Men,” has three Golden Globe nominations under his belt. The buzz that the film gained while on the film festival circuit was strong and good. Considering these factors and the talent-loaded cast, we can’t wait to see “12 Years a Slave” fully fleshed out, in its entirety, in theaters.