Two weeks ago, we learned that director Steve McQueen and BFF actor Michael Fassbender would join force again for an adaptation of Solomon Northup’s autobiography Twelve Years a Slave, which will star Chiwetel Ejiofor as the titular character. Well, add another big name to this extremely promising project as ScreenDaily reports that Brad Pitt has signed up to join the cast.
The story is based on the life of Solomon Northup, a free, married and educated black man living in 1853 New York who was lured by a job offer in Washington D.C. only to be kidnapped by two unscrupulous slave hunters and sold into slavery. After enduring twelve years of unimaginable degradation and abuse under various owners, he finally manages to be freed when a white Canadian carpenter named Samuel Bass (possibly Fassbender’s role) decided to smuggle his letters back to his wife to begin the legal process which would lead to his freedom.
There is no word on who Pitt will play, although we know he has been producing the project through his Plan B production company for several years. While McQueen and Fassbender have previously collaborated on Hunger and Shame, those titles remain mostly arthouse fares. Adding a big movie star of Brad Pitt’s caliber will allow this project to close financing and distribution deals with much less difficulty. Production is gearing up for an early 2012 start.
Overall, this looks like a lock to be excellent. The story is obviously tremendously endearing and the cast is absolutely excellent with the underrated Ejiofor finally getting a meaty role to sink his teeth into. I can’t wait to see what McQueen has in store for us.
Are you excited about “Twelve Years a Slave”?