Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. Angelina Jolie Wants to Take on 'Africa' Angelina Jolie Wants to Take on 'Africa' Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Trailer: UP Original Movie 'My Other Mother' (Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, Jasmine Guy) Debuts 9/21 Trailer: UP Original Movie 'My Other Mother' (Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, Jasmine Guy) Debuts 9/21 Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Watch First Full Trailer For 'Black-ish' Starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne Watch First Full Trailer For 'Black-ish' Starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' 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) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series 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... Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More) Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More)

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