It hasn’t been long since Steve McQueen last collaborated with Michael Fassbender in the director’s previous film, Shame. Before that, the actor had taken the lead role in Hunger – McQueen’s debut picture dealing with Irish Republican Bobby Sands and the hunger strike in Northern Ireland. This is why it came as no surprise that his upcoming feature, titled Twelve Years A Slave, will also sign Fassbender, and will also draw on history to tell its story.
McQueen collaborated with John Ridley in order to piece the screenplay together, taking on directing duties alone. Based in the mid-1800’s, the film centres on a man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, forced to spend over ten years on a cotton plantation. Joining Fassbender as Edwin Epps, we expect to see Brad Pitt (also producing), Benedict Cumberbatch who will play William Ford the plantation owner and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Solomon Northup, the mixed-race New Yorker kidnap victim. Paul Giamatti and Paul Dano (a young actor who is yet to disappoint) will also feature.
Set to be released in 2013, the feature is currently in the process of filming. Production has been put in the hands on Brad Pitt’s very own production company, Plan B Entertainment, with a little help from New Regency Pictures and River Road Entertainment. Filming locations are listed to be in and around the State of Louisiana (most notably New Orleans and the St Joseph Plantation).
McQueen’s historical drama is based on a true story, which is probably what makes it as anticipated as it is. The story is set to be rather shocking and difficult to watch, much like the filmmaker’s earlier efforts. Both McQueen and Ridley adapted the screenplay from Solomon Northup’s memoir of his real-life experiences on the cotton fields of Louisiana. The director is known for his hard-to-bear movies, so prepare for something hard-hitting and emotionally draining.