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McQueen's 'Twelve Years a Slave,' Starring Pitt, Ejiofor and Fassbender, Gets Oscar-Friendly 2013 Release Date

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood April 2, 2013 at 2:06PM

Fox Searchlight took a huge gamble picking up Steve McQueen's Toronto 2010 entry "Shame," starring Michael Fassbender as a tormented sex addict, which hit theaters in 2011. Fans of McQueen's work (which also includes 2008's "Hunger") have been chomping at the bit for his next film. Searchlight is giving his "Twelve Years a Slave" --starring dream team Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano and Fassbender--a limited release on the Oscar-friendly date of December 27, 2013.
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Chiwetel Ejiofor, far right, and Quvenzhane Wallis, center left, on set in "Twelve Years a Slave"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, far right, and Quvenzhane Wallis, center left, on set in "Twelve Years a Slave"

Fox Searchlight took a huge gamble picking up Steve McQueen's Toronto 2010 entry "Shame," starring Michael Fassbender as a tormented sex addict, which hit theaters in 2011. Fans of McQueen's work (which also includes 2008's "Hunger") have been chomping at the bit for his next film. Searchlight is giving his "Twelve Years a Slave" --starring dream team Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano and Fassbender--a limited release on the Oscar-friendly date of December 27, 2013. 

Pint-sized Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (and Broadway's new "Annie") and Michael Kenneth Williams of "The Wire" also have roles in the sprawling cast.

Written by John Ridley from the book by Solomon Northup, the film centers on his true story: Northup (Ejiofor), a freed black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War United States. Fassbender plays Northup's malevolent slave owner, and Pitt a Canadian abolitionist.

The film is a Fox Searchlight release.

Twelve Years a Slave



This article is related to: News, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Fox Searchlight, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.