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The Wait Is Over! Watch The First Trailer For Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' + Poster

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 15, 2013 6:43 PM
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Well, here it is folks! The wait is over!

Fox Searchlight recently moved up the theatrical debut of Steve McQueen's highly-anticipated drama 12 Years A Slave, from December 27 to October 18.

Apparently, Fox Searchlight felt that the film could do a lot better if released earlier, in the fall, instead of releasing it right around the start of the winter.

It'll open in a limited roll-out and will then expand nationwide in successive weeks. 

I still fully expect it to premiere at one of this year's remaining high profile international film festivals, before its new October 18 release date - like maybe the Venice Film Festival, or the Toronto International Film Festival.

The R-rated slave narrative, McQueen's 3rd feature, boasts a rather impressive cast of actors, including: Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the star of the film and whose story it tells), Michael FassbenderRuth Negga, Adepero OduyeAlfre WoodardLupita Nyong'oPaul DanoBenedict CumberbatchScoot McNairyGarret DillahuntBrad PittMichael K. Williams Paul GiamattiSarah Paulson and others. 

I expect it to be an awards season favorite, especially in key roles, both in front of and behind the camera, in what will probably signal the beginning of the end of what I previously referred to as "slave movie fever."

As expected, after Fox Searchlight recently released a set of official photos from the upcoming film, giving us our very first look at it, here's the first trailer for the film (replete with music from McQueen's last film, Shame), as the marketing engines continues to turn (you'll find a first poster below the trailer as well):

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  • Ralph | July 26, 2013 1:43 PMReply

    Films like this make me love Django that much more.

  • Clayton | July 17, 2013 1:27 AMReply

    Looks great! I will be seeing it.

  • Xi | July 17, 2013 1:23 AMReply

    This will be my first McQueen film! That's enough to get me out on opening weekend, but I'm also excited to see this well rounded cast (Quvenzhane Wallis in particular), and the artistic execution of this compelling story. Ejiofor can be a bit overly theatrical (which, to me works best with Spike Lee for some reason), but I agree with a previous who seemed curious to see the portrayal of American slavery from someone born outside of the states. Count me in!

  • urbanauteur | July 16, 2013 4:19 PMReply

    Next up..? The Black Count adaptation..?

  • Donella | July 16, 2013 1:54 PMReply

    This looks excellent. I trust McQueen to do a great service to the book, to Solomon Northrup, to history, and to his actors.

  • michele | July 16, 2013 1:42 PMReply

    I had my reservations. But I will def check this out, even though I know it will be a hard watch.

  • T | July 16, 2013 12:38 PMReply

    Why is Alfre Woodard wearing make-up? Can someone please explain??

  • Sergio | July 16, 2013 8:23 AMReply

    It's no Mandingo (what is?), but I'm very anxious to see it

  • Aaron | July 16, 2013 7:44 AMReply

    Enough with these slave propaganda films. Regardless of this being based on a true story it is still about propaganda for white supremacy. Start showing some films based on Slave Revolts in the U.S. and stop with this subliminal message to black people b.s. I'll pass on this.

  • Rhonda | July 22, 2013 11:49 PM

    I agree with you ...I can't stomach the inhumanity of it...What do these films actually show...just like Lifetime movies...triumph over what??

  • Micah | July 17, 2013 10:33 PM

    This is the antithesis of a slave propaganda film. The black hero actually wins in this story unlike in the vast majority of slave revolts. There are only a few where we win. Nat Turner's life story, as good as it may be, is not one of them.

  • veggiedude | July 16, 2013 1:37 PM

    Speilberg's Armistad was about slave revolt.

  • Lisa von Finkle | July 16, 2013 1:02 PM

    Yeah, like Nat Turner, for one.

  • BeautyIAM | July 15, 2013 11:44 PMReply

    LOL, I love how critical this crowd ALWAYS is of many of these movies. This crowd can never ever be pleased. Some of you guys need to get over yourselves. Anyway, I liked the trailer.

  • Micah | July 16, 2013 12:34 AM

    Somehow you missed how supportive most of us are in the comment section. We are looking forward to seeing this movie also. We will be sitting right beside you in the theater. Feel free to have some of our popcorn.

  • Safe for Massa | July 15, 2013 11:28 PMReply

    Many slave revolts happen but studios won't touch them. They are just as much "our history" as theones where we get our asses whipped like cattle and THE END.

    Fuck this slave porn bullshit. Tell the whole story!!! The REVOLTS as well!!!

    But that won't happen, just like you won't see a black superhero movie, dark skinned black folks in love scenes. THESE MOVIES ARE SAFE MOVIES BECAUSE WE ARE NOT A THREAT IN THEM!

    Typical be the good nigga bullshit!

    Fuck this movie.

  • PureEGO | July 17, 2013 1:15 AM

    "Spawn" and "Blade" were black super heroes.

  • M | July 16, 2013 11:27 AM

    You are delusional. A slave revolt film would be considered 'slave porn bullshit'.

  • Micah | July 16, 2013 12:41 AM

    Only someone with no clue of the actual story or perspective in general would view this as slave porn. It's far from it. How Solomon Northrup overcomes his injustice and regains his freedom is truly a remarkable story. The fact that he is able to eloquently tell his own story, without it being framed by an outsider's perspective is even more inspiring.

  • Von | July 15, 2013 11:02 PMReply

    If one is going to make another slave movie, please make one about Mr. Nat Turner!

  • Micah | July 15, 2013 11:23 PM

    Nat Turner's story along with this true story and the true stories of the many slave revolts would lend to a well-rounded view of history. There are many tales of our struggles through this time worth telling.

  • Um No | July 15, 2013 10:36 PMReply

    NO THANKS. Enough with the "that good old nigger shole don't give up" movies.

  • Micah | July 15, 2013 11:15 PM

    You are aware that this is a true story about a freeman who was enslaved and found away to regain his freedom?

  • VM | July 15, 2013 10:50 PM

    That's ignorant.

  • JEFTCG | July 15, 2013 10:10 PMReply

    What is indeed interesting will be to see how the director, a non-American, spins a tale of American slavery.

  • Donella | July 16, 2013 1:59 PM

    @ Miles, ROFL

  • sergio | July 16, 2013 1:48 PM

    You realize that Spock is a fictional character and that whole Star Trek thing whatever is made up?

  • veggiedude | July 16, 2013 1:42 PM

    Lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is British too. Sometimes an outsider point of view brings a unique perspective. That's why Roddenberry put Spock on the crew of the Enterprise.

  • Kate | July 16, 2013 3:25 AM

    Newsflash: slavery didn't just occur in the US. McQueen's descendants are from the West Indies, where many blacks were enslaved. He's also lived in the US and has relatives who live there.

  • Von | July 15, 2013 11:01 PM

    Not ignorant at all. VERY MUCH TRUE!!!

  • Miles Ellison | July 15, 2013 10:36 PM

    And unlike here, they probably actually read them.

  • Carl | July 15, 2013 10:32 PM

    NEWS FLASH: they have history books in England.

  • CareyCarey | July 15, 2013 10:00 PMReply

    My people, my people, listen to this: People get ready, there's a train a comin' you don't need no baggage, you just get on board. All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin', don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord.

    Hey y'all, after viewing the clip I chose that song by Curtis Mayfield because this engine, this vehicle, this movie is ready to go. And really, I can't quite understand why some black folks are not getting on board? Certainly this is not the typical house divided. There doesn't appear to be an Uncle Tom Stephen kissing Mr. Candie's ass, nor a Hoke Colburn driving Miss Daisy. There's no Butlers overacting with a raised clinched fist -- while playing the part of the good 'ol boy. There's also no Halles or Kerrys getting butt naked to please the T&A crowd. A "Precious" type is not in this film nor is her dysfunctional mother. There's no white director to disagree with and the story was written by a black man, so really, what's the beef?

    I mean, from my perspective, this film appears to be the shit. Yes... really, excuse my french, but this film has all the ingredients to be the baddest mfer of the year. Great actors, a great director who happens to be black and a story based on true events is enough for me to get on this train!

    Btw, of all the songs of the 60's "People Get Ready" probably best represents the civil rights era. Written by lead singer, Curtis Mayfield, and performed by The Impressions, it was released in 1965 on the ABC-Paramount label. "People Get Ready", reached #3 on the R&B charts and #14 on the pop charts. The members of the group were Curtis Mayfield, Fred Cash, and Sam Gooden. In this rendition it's Curtis and Taylor Dayne -->

  • Clayton | July 17, 2013 1:26 AM

    I'm on board. It looks great.

  • Rocket | July 16, 2013 11:31 AM


    Movies aren't the only way to learn about our history. The written account has been around much longer as a medium. Some of us are just not interested in seeing slave films. I've read biographies on Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington and many others. They usually have more detail and more nuance than a two hour film. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with this are any other slave film. Some of us just aren't interested in seeing that on film.

  • VM | July 15, 2013 11:02 PM

    Black people don't like to be reminded of where they came from. I wish for every Holocaust film there's a well made inspiring slavery film following behind it. We shouldn't just have to resort to Roots to be reminded of the hardships our people went through to have some of our asses sit here and say "I'll pass on this" History is important... beautiful or ugly. And this isn't some made up story by some white guy who wants to be down with the "blacks". It's a true account that people probably wouldn't know about if it wasn't for this film or if they didn't attend an African American History course in college.

  • Mark & Darla | July 15, 2013 9:05 PMReply

    Given the choice, I would rather watch images after images of caterpillars morphing into butterflies, which I can’t stomach to look it than this movie.

  • Micah | July 17, 2013 10:36 PM

    I cared 1. Because you chose to inflict your unsolicited opinion on all of us.
    2. Because I was under the impression you wanted or could carry a civil conversation.

  • Mark & Darla | July 16, 2013 1:16 AM

    Why do you care why I feel the way I do, cause I surely don't care why you have such a high anticipation for this movie.

    By the way waiting for my ‘Temptation’ DVD from Amazon, should arrive this Wednesday.

  • Micah | July 15, 2013 9:59 PM

    *this* way

  • Micah | July 15, 2013 9:58 PM

    Why do you feel tho way?

  • Mo tee suh | July 15, 2013 8:49 PMReply

    This looks good. Grateful that Django was not the last word.

  • C'mon now | July 15, 2013 7:36 PMReply

    Hmm.. doesn't look like there will be any violent bloody payback against evil white slavemasters in this film. I'll pass..

  • Donella | July 16, 2013 1:56 PM

    Rest assured Solomon Northrup beats the shit out of his "master" on more than one occasion. At least in the book he does. Hopefully, he will in the movie too.

  • Micah | July 15, 2013 7:45 PM

    No, there will be a true a count of how HE regained his own freedom.

  • Burp | July 15, 2013 7:27 PMReply

    It has that Rudy triumph through adversity music that we have all become familiar with but it looks well casted and for that and Steve M the gem from across the pond I will see this.

  • Darkan | July 15, 2013 7:20 PMReply

    I don't want to see this. I'm tired of these films. Enough already!!!!

  • Naji | July 15, 2013 9:43 PM

    It is not a slave movie. It is an inspirational movie about a great human being.

  • Micah | July 15, 2013 7:43 PM

    *You're* How many movie like this are actually out there? This is a very articulate account of events. Why should there be an extremely low cap on the amount of stories about the most influential chapter of our American history? You can have a million holocaust films about an event that lasted a few years but this you can only have a few?

  • Micah | July 15, 2013 7:34 PM

    Darkan, your tired of TRUE and well-made stories about our people ACTAULLY overcoming. This probably one of the most inspiring stories in African-American history and it's told from an African-American's perspective who lived it.

  • Nadia | July 15, 2013 7:25 PM

    Come on now Darkan. Now you know we had to get something to challenge Django Unchained. We couldn't let that silly film be the last word on slave movies. Nope. But after this one, I agree, I'll be good with slave movies.

  • Guest | July 15, 2013 7:16 PMReply

    That music is actually from "The Thin Red Line", not from "Shame"...

  • Guest | July 15, 2013 9:45 PM

    @Nadia - Nope. The music in "Shame" is composed by Harry Escott, completely original, even if it is reminiscent of Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to "The Thin Red Line". The TRL track in this trailer is called "Journey to the Line" and is never in Shame. In your defense, there is a track in "Shame" called "Brandon" that sounds just like this.

  • Nadia | July 15, 2013 7:23 PM

    The music was in Shame too. It originated with TRL, but it was definitely in Shame. Check the trailer for Shame.

  • Man-Over-Bored | July 15, 2013 7:12 PMReply

    YES! Can't Wait!

  • Damone | July 15, 2013 7:02 PMReply

    I'll be there! Looking forward to this.

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