Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen joined forces on the big screen once again in 2013 for more award winning brilliance in, Twelve Years A Slave. Based on the autobiography of the same name by Solomon Northup, as told to David Wilson, and published in 1853, the cinematic adaptation has been written by McQueen and John Ridley (Three Kings) taking us back to the dark days of slavery in the United States.
The movie traces Northup’s memoirs from his birth as a free man in New York State, to his kidnap in 1841 in Washington DC, his sale into slavery and twelve years of bondage in Louisiana to work on cotton plantations for wealthy land-owners. Solomon Northup will be played by British actor, Chiwetel Ejiofer (Marching Powder), who won the 2008 Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello.
Michael Fassbender will play the brutal Edwin Epps, who owned one of the plantation that Northup spent his last years on as a slave. Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)will also star in the gruelling story of Solomon’s journey from freedom, into a long life of cruel slavery before his eventual freedom thanks to the secret intervention of Epps’ carpenter, Samuel Bass.
As well as starring in the film, Brad Pitt is also one of the producers, alongside Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner, Pitt’s partner at his production company, Plan B Entertainment. It’s a momentous production and one that announces Pitt’s company on the serious side of the cinematic divide, following the killer zombie flick, World War Z.
12 Years A Slave was released at the cinemas on the 27th December 2013, reiterating the realities of slavery that plagued the world during that era and the importance of racial equality in modern day life. While it’s sort of a big departure for Steve McQueen and the cast from their previous work, it went on to be a gritty autobiographical adaptation that picked up a number of Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay by John Ridley and Best Supporting Actress for Lupia Nyong’o (Star Wars Episode VII), who played fellow slave Patsey.
Fassbender and McQueen have previously worked together on 2012’s Shame, and with yet more hard-hitting subject matter in Twelve Years A Slave confirm their partnership focusing on the bigger issues on the cinematic spectrum. Luckily there were much fewer full frontal shots from Fassbender in this film than there were in Shame, so we can all go back to convincing our other halves that we’re smarter than the average bear. However, with such a harrowing story, it’s a tough film to watch, but it’s well worth the effort. Read our 12 Years A Slave review to find out more.