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Watch: First Trailer For Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender & More

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 15, 2013 6:34 PM
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12 Years A Slave Trailer

While it may not be a movie that appeals to the general public on the scale of "Iron Man 3" or "Man Of Steel," to the more cinephile-oriented viewers, there are few movies coming in 2013 as exciting as Steven McQueen's slavery drama "12 Years A Slave." Earlier this month we got the first images from the film, but for those familiar with the filmmaker's previous films "Hunger" and "Shame," that's only telling not even half the story. McQueen anchors his movies heavily on performances, mood and controlled tone, and does he do it again here?

The first trailer for "12 Years A Slave" has arrived and it'll certainly get Oscar prognosticators talking. And not just about the ridiculously stacked cast -- Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Dwight Henry, Quvenzhane Wallis, Lupita Nyongo, Scoot McNairy, Michael Kenneth Williams and Garret Dillahunt -- but potency of the true story tale, about a free black man, sold into slavery, who has to fight for his freedom once again. No, he doesn't have a German dentist sidekick. 

Expected to show up at the Venice Film Festival in August, it won't be coming near you until October 18th. Watch below and tell us what you think.

12 Years A Slave Poster
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  • DHV | September 5, 2013 11:29 PMReply

    Incredibly reckless to sacrifice the safety of a group of people over an hyper exaggerated art piece loosely based on a glimpse in history. While these actors go home to Beverly Hills, normal white people go home and become targets of an increasingly violent hyper sensitive racist black youth that are killing whites at a growing rampant number. daily

  • T.A. | July 19, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    I liked Hunger, loved Shame, but this one to me appears like The Color Purple, Amistad and War Horse combined. Cheesy as hell, that's for sure.

    I hope the trailer is to be blamed, and the film surprises me, but the dialogue and the music did hurt my ears here.

  • AccidentalVisitor | July 16, 2013 1:36 PMReply

    I may be wrong but I don't think Solomon was sold "back' into slavery. I believe he had been free all of his life until that point.

  • lia | July 16, 2013 7:43 PM

    You are correct.

  • BEF | July 16, 2013 12:44 PMReply

    Looks great, leaves one question -- is Pitt a hired hand on Fassbender's farm? A carpenter? A local Amish fellow with a better heart than Fassy?

  • RRR | July 16, 2013 11:47 AMReply

    My only hesitation is that it's backed in part by 21st Century Fox, one of Rupert Murdoch's (owner of Fox News) outlets. The success of this movie will, unfortunately, aid Murdoch's financial capacity for setting back the causes of human and civil rights through his other media outlets. For that reason, I am not sure I can support it, though it seems a very worth endeavor.

  • M | July 16, 2013 11:26 AMReply

    Finally a great film ... It's the one we needed.

  • Scottye | July 16, 2013 10:04 AMReply

    I got chill bumps just watching the trailer. I'll be there in October! I'm quite familiar with the story and I'm excited to see how it translates to film.

  • Tom | July 16, 2013 8:12 AMReply

    Sam Mendes should reward him for all the recognition he'll get for this, by giving Chiwetel Ejiofor a scene-chewing role as the villain in the next Bond film ?

  • DUDDI | July 16, 2013 7:12 AMReply

    "12 Years a Slave" looks definitely as a great movie !!! I'll be waiting for it when it gets released, I'm a huge fan of McQueen-Fassbender movies. But there is a lot of pollution going around, you just can't compare "12 Years a Slave" with "Django Unchained", they differ by miles, since this one is a biopic, and D.U. was an Adventure,Western,Action movie... i just don't see why you would compare them (even thou they both tell the story of a slave) knowing that they belong on different genres. Anyway, Cheers !!!

  • AE | July 16, 2013 4:00 AMReply

    Unlike Hunger or Shame this feels like a straight up awards season movie, don't see why it couldn't cross over, could be more people interested in this type of subject matter than the industry realizes.

  • @MJ | July 16, 2013 7:50 PM

    I've seen the film and frankly, it is quite conventional. There are a few McQueen-like scenes but as a whole, it is miles away from the brutality of Hunger. Quite Oscar-baity too.

  • MJ | July 16, 2013 2:17 PM

    The trailer is constructed to make it go down easier than the supposedly brutal treatment of the material, which would be in keeping with McQueen's past efforts. Bait and switch campaigns are never a good idea though.

  • Jason | July 15, 2013 11:15 PMReply

    Looks amazing.. This is the anti-Django!

  • Jamie | July 15, 2013 9:19 PMReply

    It looks impressive and will get awards recognition. Is it me or isn't the music in the beginning Time from the Inception score just slowed down?

  • John | July 16, 2013 7:40 PM

    It's Zimmer's "Journey to the Line" from The Thin Red Line. The entire score for Shame is essentially a variation/imitation of that piece . . .

  • Max | July 16, 2013 4:45 AM

    It is Hans Zimmer's TIME.

    It is NOT featured anywhere in SHAME.

  • JoeB | July 15, 2013 11:06 PM

    It's the same music used in "Shame".

  • a-man | July 15, 2013 7:56 PMReply

    some of y'all may get to thinkin':
    "where's his pimpin-ass suits? and that funny horse of his? and that loud-ass hip-hop blaring throughout every action-packed fight scene? AND why are they not dropping the n-bomb like it never went out of fashion!!!??"

    well, this ain't the film for you if you're that way inclined, mister... this ain't that film at all.*

  • Len | July 15, 2013 11:45 PM

    It's also entirely possible that people will like both films. Pretty crazy, right?

  • a-man | July 15, 2013 7:56 PM

    *this one'll be better...

  • Rachel | July 15, 2013 7:46 PMReply

    Can't wait to see this. Ejiofor looks great; as for Fassbender, if he is once again ignored by the Academy, then they've lost all credibility.

  • Rachel | July 16, 2013 6:24 AM

    Hey Michael, I'm calling Fassbender award-worthy not on the basis of the trailer but on the basis of his previous work--which the Academy has ignored. He's a great actor; McQueen has said that he reaches a new level of intensity in this. I stand by my original comment.

  • Michael | July 16, 2013 4:53 AM

    People who proclaim somebody Award worthy based on a trailer have no credibility at all...

  • d | July 15, 2013 8:50 PM

    Still trying to figure out when the Academy ever had credibility...

  • moo | July 15, 2013 7:37 PMReply

    Interesting they used "Journey to the Line" for this considering the track "Brandon" from Shame sounds almost exactly like it and probably wouldn't have cost them anything to get rights to. McQueen is awesome.

  • Real | July 15, 2013 7:29 PMReply

    This looks fantastic and is based on awesome source material. Not too keen on the poster though, it reminds me of a Tom Cruise action movie.

  • Dan | July 15, 2013 7:06 PMReply

    Movie looks terrific, and Chiwetel Ejiofor in particular looks incredible.

  • Kieran | July 15, 2013 6:48 PMReply

    Fuck me, the cast for this movie is incredible! How ever did McQueen manage to pull this shit together? And the Northup source text is a superb choice.

  • Kate | July 15, 2013 6:38 PMReply

    Fox Searchlight moved up the release date to October, remember?

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