Steve McQueen Is Negotiating Money for Twelve Years a Slave

The cast includes Brad Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Posted: 04/10/2012 12:12 AM EDT
Direcotr Steve McQueen, Washington D.C., Racism, history, slavery, Film News

(Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Looks like Steve McQueen may be bringing the life of a free-man-turned-slave to movie theaters.

The British director of Shame is in talks with New Regency to co-finance and distribute his next project, an adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir Twelve Years a Slave.


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star Chiwetel Ejiofor has been cast to play Northup, who was born a free man. The film will tell the story of how Northup who, after signing on with two men who claimed to be circus promoters looking to hire him for his violin skills, was drugged, taken to Washington D.C. and put into a slavery. Being forced to claim he was born a slave in Georgia, Northup was transported to Louisiana where he suffered the harsh life of a slave. After telling a white carpenter from Canada who came to the property to do a job, and who believed Northup’s story, Northup was able to get word to his wife back in New York, who started the legal process which allowed Northup to regain his freedom.


Michael Fassbender
, who starred in Shame, will play a plantation owner. Brad Pitt will star as the Northern lawyer who helps Northup regain his freedom. Pitts’s Plan B production company will produce the film.


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