Hot Trailer: 12 Years a Slave

A first look at Steve McQueen's gritty drama starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Posted: 07/17/2013 08:45 AM EDT

(Photo: New Regency Pictures) 

There have been several Hollywood films made about slavery in America (Glory, Django Unchained and Amistad, to name a few prominent ones), but 12 Years a Slave is one of the few by a Black filmmaker. 

Steve McQueen directs the highly-anticipated drama, based on the memoirs of former slave Solomon Northup, as a follow up to his critically acclaimed films Hunger and Shame. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Northup, who was born a free man in the North and worked as a carpenter and violinist before he was kidnapped, transported to Louisiana and put in chains. He was enslaved for 12 years before he was able to get word of his whereabouts to his family. Once freed, he wrote a best-selling memoir about his illegal enslavement.

Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender also star in the film, which was produced by Pitt's company Plan B.

The first trailer for 12 Years a Slave, already dubbed an early Oscar contender, dropped this week. Check out the intense clip below.

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