Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' 2016 SXSW Feature Films Lineup Announced - Several World Premieres of Note 2016 SXSW Feature Films Lineup Announced - Several World Premieres of Note HBO Sets April Premiere Date for 'Confirmation' HBO Sets April Premiere Date for 'Confirmation' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore' Taps Franchesca Ramsey as Newest Contributor and Writer 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore' Taps Franchesca Ramsey as Newest Contributor and Writer Watch: Tyler Perry Previews 'The Passion' 2-Hour Musical Event in New Orleans Watch: Tyler Perry Previews 'The Passion' 2-Hour Musical Event in New Orleans Before Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film Is Released, Get Prepped By Watching Charles Burnett's 2003 Documentary Before Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film Is Released, Get Prepped By Watching Charles Burnett's 2003 Documentary Watch Sneak Peek: 'Floyd Norman - An Animated Life' (Doc on 1st Black Animator to Work for Disney) Watch Sneak Peek: 'Floyd Norman - An Animated Life' (Doc on 1st Black Animator to Work for Disney) There Is a Precedent for the "DuVernay Test" to Consider... There Is a Precedent for the "DuVernay Test" to Consider... Ryan Coogler to Deliver Prestigious University of Chicago Kent Lecture Feb. 9 Ryan Coogler to Deliver Prestigious University of Chicago Kent Lecture Feb. 9 Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' First Look at Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film, 'The Birth of a Nation' First Look at Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film, 'The Birth of a Nation' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video)

Funding Boost For "12 Years A Slave" + Details On Characters To Be Played By Fassbender & Pitt

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 9, 2012 at 8:25PM

Finally some news on this project...
27
Steve McQueen

Finally some news on this project...

New Regency is said to be "in talks" to co-finance and distribute 12 Years A Slave, the adaptation of Solomon Northup's slave narrative, to be directed by Steve McQueen, with Chiwetel Ejiofor in the starring role, and Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt in supporting roles.

In my "book-to-film" writeup on the project (HERE), I wondered what characters Fassbender and Pitt would play in the film; thanks to Deadline, we now know.

Fassbender will play a plantation owner (there were a few in the novel I read, so it could be any of them; but as reader Accidental Visitor astutely noted in his comment in response to my writeup, Fassbender will likely play Edwin Epps - your garden variety uneducated, ignorant, alcoholic redneck asshole to put it plainly, and the plantation owner Northup spends 10 of his 12 years in bondage working for.

As I noted in my writeup, Epps is middle-aged and, from what I gathered in Northup's description of him, large - more fat than muscle - and just a mean bastard; an ignorant one who drinks a lot. A lethal combo I'd say - ignorant, mean and an alcoholic. And in a position of power too I should also add.

As you know, Fassbender does not fit that physical description, but continuing on with what Accidental Visitor said...

Just as the case with Leonardo playing a character in "Django" that, by script decision, was the total opposite of him, Fassbender will probably be doing the same in this adaptation. That's how it works. When it comes to casting it is typical, when white folks are involved, for the thespians to be "prettier" than how they are described on the page. That's how you get funding for such films: promote the white prettiness. This is why when a major white character is an evil Nazi or a vicious slave owner, films pick good-looking types that allow the audiences to tolerate them (and for some perhaps sympathize with them).  

And besides, I doubt Fassbender's role would be a small one; although Brad Pitt's is. As Deadline notes, Pitt will play a Northern lawyer who helps free Northup; if I recall correctly from the book, this lawyer features primarily towards the end of the book, and not very much.

But Pitt is also acting as producer of the project via his Plan B company.

The film's budget is listed at around $20 million.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in June in Louisiana.

I expect this will be a 2013 release, unless it's rushed for a late 2012 limited opening to make it eligible for Oscar consideration next year.

If you missed it, read my book-to-film report on the project HERE.


Shadow & ActNewsletter