Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
 Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Fox Is Developing an American Remake of 'Luther' (But Not with Idris Elba Starring) Fox Is Developing an American Remake of 'Luther' (But Not with Idris Elba Starring) Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") White Women in LA Will Be Empowered by Black Women in New Series 'Bye Felicia!' (Watch Clip) White Women in LA Will Be Empowered by Black Women in New Series 'Bye Felicia!' (Watch Clip) Did Anyone Actually Like Lifetime's Aaliyah Movie? Also, Producer Wendy Williams Takes on Backlash Did Anyone Actually Like Lifetime's Aaliyah Movie? Also, Producer Wendy Williams Takes on Backlash Review: Refreshingly Diverse 'Big Hero 6' Will Make Kids and Science Lovers of all Ages Giddy Review: Refreshingly Diverse 'Big Hero 6' Will Make Kids and Science Lovers of all Ages Giddy Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Your Thoughts on 'Beyond the Lights' Now That It's in Theaters? Your Thoughts on 'Beyond the Lights' Now That It's in Theaters? Gina Prince-Bythewood Wants to Eliminate the Term "Black Film" Gina Prince-Bythewood Wants to Eliminate the Term "Black Film" Review: Five Things Missing from 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' Review: Five Things Missing from 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Actors Cast to Play Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Damon Dash in Aaliyah Biopic Actors Cast to Play Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Damon Dash in Aaliyah Biopic Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) 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) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

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