USA Today has released the first stills from 12 Years a Slave, the latest film from director Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame).
Steve McQueen has only made two films so far – and they have both been incredible. Hunger, an incredibly heart-wrenching prison story of an Northern Irish hunger strike, was an outstanding debut and Shame, a film about a man trying to deal with his sex-addiction, was an assured drama that proved that Steve McQueen was indeed a director to look out for. Both those films starred Michael Fassbender and they’re arguably his finest performances to date. Fassbender will once again be joining McQueen in Twelve Years A Slave, but he won’t be in the lead role this time.
Twelve Years A Slave will tell the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War South. Northrup will be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children Of Men, 2012, Salt).
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Garret Dillahunt, Sarah Paulson, Scoot McNairy, Ruth Negga, Alfre Woodard and Michael Kenneth Williams.
Check out the stills below and read the official synopsis underneath them:
Based on a true story, 12 YEARS A SLAVE is a riveting account of a free black man kidnapped from New York and sold into brutal slavery in mid-1850s Louisiana, and the inspiring story of his desperate struggle to return home to his family.
SOLOMON NORTHUP (Chiwtel Ejiofor), an educated black man with a gift for music, lives with his wife and children in Saratoga, New York. One day, when his family is out of town, he is approached by two men claiming to be circus promoters. Solomon agrees to travel with them briefly, playing the fiddle while they perform. But after sharing a drink with the men, he awakens to find he has been drugged and bound and faces a horrifying reality: he is being shipped to the South as a slave.
No one listens to Solomon’s claim that he has papers proving his status as a free man. Despairing, he plots his escape, only to be foiled at every turn. He is sold to WILLIAM FORD, a kindly mill owner who appreciates Solomon’s thoughtful nature. But Ford is forced to sell him to a cruel master who subjects him and other slaves to unspeakable brutality. For years, Solomon nurtures his dreams of returning home. He stashes slips of stolen paper in his fiddle and develops a natural ink with which to write a letter. But when his greatest efforts come to nothing, he realizes just how trapped he is. Even if he could write the letter without being caught, where would he send it? Whom could he trust to deliver it? And will he even survive long enough to be rescued?
Refusing to abandon hope, Solomon watches helplessly as those around him succumb to violence, crushing emotional abuse and hopelessness. He realizes that he will have to take incredible risks, and depend on the most unlikely people, if he is ever to regain his freedom and be reunited with his family.
ETA: USA – 27 December, 2013.
Source: USA Today