Exclusive Images from Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE Featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’O, and Benedict Cumberbatch

by     Posted 335 days ago

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Director Steve McQueen’s moving historical drama 12 Years a Slave is undoubtedly one of the best films of the year, and we here at Collider are happy to debut six new images from the film.  Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, the true story chronicles Northup’s twelve-year journey as an educated and married free man from New York who was abducted in 1841 and forced into slavery for over a decade.  Buoyed by tremendous performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong’O and masterful direction from McQueen, 12 Years a Slave is one of the most powerful moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had.  This film is essential viewing.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new images, which also behind-the-scenes looks at McQueen on set, and click here to read Matt’s review from the Toronto International Film Festival.  The film also stars Benedict CumberbatchPaul GiamattiQuvenzhane WallisSarah PaulsonPaul DanoScoot McNairy, Taran KillamGarrett DillahuntAlfre WoodardDwight Henry, Michael Kenneth Williams, Chris Chalk, and Brad Pitt.  12 Years a Slave opens in limited release this Friday, October 18th and expands wide on November 1st.

New TV Spot for 12 YEARS A SLAVE Ramps Up the Intensity

by     Posted 348 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released a new TV spot for director Steve McQueen’s (Shame) incredible drama 12 Years a Slave.  The true story is based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) as Northup, an educated and married black man living in New York in 1841.  Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery for over a decade.  I caught the film at TIFF and it is not only one of the best films I’ve seen all year, but also one of the most emotional moviegoing experiences I’ve had period.  This TV spot is heavy on intensity, but it’s not really indicative of the film’s pace.  McQueen offers an unflinching, terrifying look at slavery in a straightforward manner that captures the reality of the situation without smoothing out the edges or glamorizing the story with flashy editing.

Hit the jump to watch the TV spot, click here for Matt’s review, and click here for my rundown of its awards chances.  The film also stars Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’OBenedict CumberbatchPaul GiamattiQuvenzhane WallisSarah PaulsonPaul DanoScoot McNairyGarrett DillahuntAlfre WoodardDwight Henry, Michael K. Williams, and Brad Pitt.  12 Years a Slave opens in limited release on October 18th before expanding in the following weeks.

Oscar Beat: A Way Too Early Glimpse at the Best Picture Field – Part 1

by     Posted 1 year, 18 days ago

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The Venice Film Festival is already underway, the Telluride Film Festival begins this weekend, and the Toronto International Film Festival will be in full swing by this time next week. With those three festivals underway, the Oscar Race will have officially begun.  Right now, no one knows how Gravity will stack up against August: Osage County or whether Labor Day is a major contender or more of a minor player like Jason Reitman’s 2011 feature Young Adult.  By next week, though, the aforementioned films and plenty more will have finally screened for critics and prognosticators, and an early lay of the land—based in fact instead of blind speculation—will arise.

I will be attending TIFF for the first time this year, so I’ll be right there in the trenches with the first reactions to plenty of 2013’s awards contenders, but before the festival madness begins, I thought it would be fun to do one last overview of the Best Picture race.  Hit the jump for part one of a way too early look at the potential Best Picture Oscar nominees.

Oscar Beat: The Fall Festival Contenders

by     Posted 1 year, 29 days ago

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It’s that time of year again, folks.  The explosion-filled summer blockbusters will soon be fading from multiplexes, and in will flow a number of smaller, more dramatic films poised to dominate the Oscar conversation as the awards machine gets up and running.  Some will meet high expectations, some will be disappointing, and some will come out of nowhere to take everyone by surprise.  We here at Collider ran a few awards-centric articles last fall that examined the Oscar race as it drew closer, but this year we’re happy to expand our awards coverage to a regular column titled “Oscar Beat.”

We’ll be covering anything and everything Oscar up through the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2nd, and if years past are any indication, there will be plenty to discuss.  In our inaugural installment of Oscar Beat, we’ll be taking a look at the upcoming Fall Film Festival circuit, which is where the heavy hitters of awards season traditionally premiere.  Hit the jump for more.

TIFF 2013 Line-Up Announced; 12 YEARS A SLAVE, GRAVITY, RUSH, THE FIFTH ESTATE, LABOR DAY, and Many More to Debut

by     Posted 1 year, 55 days ago

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The Toronto International Film Festival has announced part of its line-up for 2013.  The festival will kick off with Bill Condon’s Julian Assange movie, The Fifth Estate, and close with Daniel Schecter’s Jackie Brown prequel, Life of Crime.  In between, you have the premieres of Ron Howard’s Rush; Jason Reitman’s Labor Day starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet; Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender; Richard Ayoade’s The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg; David Gordon Green’s Joe starring Nicolas Cage; Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three movie Devil’s Knot starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; the North American premiere of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and many more.  Even the Mike Meyer’s documentary Supermensch that we reported on yesterday will be on hand, so it looks like he’s already completed it.  Unfortunately, I’m sure TIFF will front-load their schedule like they always do, so there will be plenty of tough choices, but Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the must-sees that immediately jump to mind.

Hit the jump for a list of the Galas and Special Presentations.  Please note that there are plenty of other categories that will be announced soon including the full Midnight Madness, Documentary, and Masters line-up so stay tuned.  The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.

First Trailer and Poster for 12 YEARS A SLAVE Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Benedict Cumberbatch

by     Posted 1 year, 63 days ago

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The first trailer for director Steve McQueen’s (Shame) historical drama 12 Years a Slave has been released online.  Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) as Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York.  Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery for over a decade.  Ejiofor’s performance as Northup is every bit as hopeful as Michael Fassbender’s plantation owner Edwin Epps is terrifying.  It’s easy to get caught up in early Oscar talk from this trailer, but let’s not forget how socially relevant Northup’s story is today, even 150 years later.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Benedict CumberbatchPaul GiamattiQuvenzhane WallisSarah PaulsonPaul DanoScoot McNairyGarrett DillahuntAlfre WoodardDwight Henry, Michael K. Williams, and Brad Pitt.  12 Years a Slave opens on October 18th.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Set for August 1, 2014 Release; TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE Moved Up to October 18th

by     Posted 1 year, 81 days ago

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Release dates for two numerically inclined films have been announced.  First up, Focus Features and Universal Pictures will release the E.L. James adaptation Fifty Shades of Grey on August 1, 2014.  Though it’s been in active development for some time, the producers only just settled on a director, tapping Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) to take the helm.  The BDSM-heavy pic should make for a nice bit of counterprogramming on the August 1st date, as it will open opposite Marvel’s space-set Guardians of the Galaxy.  With a release firmly set, expect some Fifty Shades casting news very soon.

Additionally, Fox Searchlight has moved up the release date of director Steve McQueen’s (Shame) period drama Twelve Years a Slave nearly two months, from December 27th to October 18th.  The move was made after the studio received highly positive feedback from test screenings, and the Michael Fassbender/Chiwetel Ejiofor-fronted pic will now have a platform release in October, priming it up for awards season recognition.  I’d be shocked if the pic didn’t first show up at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Alfonso Cuaron’s GRAVITY, Paul Greengrass’ CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, and More Likely Candidates to Play at this Year’s Venice Film Festival

by     Posted 1 year, 88 days ago

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I have mixed feelings about the fall festival season.  On the one hand, I love going to the Toronto International Film Festival (very well-run and great venues), and getting a jump on the awards season movies because a fair share of them are going to be damn good.  On the other hand, there’s less room for the joyful discovery I’ll find at Sundance, SXSW, and Fantastic Fest.  Nevertheless, studios like to begin their awards season maneuvering in the fall, and that usually starts at the Venice Film Festival, and then those films then move on to Telluride and TIFF.  Variety has begun their predictions for what they believe will debut at this year’s Venice Film Festival.  Among the predictions are Alfonso Cuaron‘s sci-fi drama Gravity, Paul GreengrassCaptain Phillips starring Tom Hanks, and Steve McQueen‘s star-studded Twelve Years a Slave.  The only confirmed title thus far is Paul Schrader‘s The Canyons, which isn’t particularly noteworthy since it will debut on VOD in the U.S. weeks before.

Hit the jump for more films that might show up at Venice this year.  The 2013 Venice Film Festival runs from August 28 – September 7th.

First Images from TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE Featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Benedict Cumberbatch

by     Posted 1 year, 90 days ago

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The first images from director Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated new film Twelve Years a Slave have arrived.  Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) plays Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York.  Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery for over a decade.  The film boasts a wildly impressive ensemble cast and marks McQueen’s follow-up feature after the critically acclaimed 2011 drama Shame, and so we’ve been looking forward to this one for quite some time.  Ejiofor looks fittingly intense as the film’s lead, but it’s the menacing Michael Fassbender who stands out in these debut images as a slave owner.  With this debut set of photos hitting today, we should see a trailer for Twelve Years a Slave soon.

Hit the jump to take a look at the images.  The film also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhane Wallis, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, Dwight Henry, Michael K. Williams, and Brad PittTwelve Years a Slave opens on December 27th.

Steve McQueen’s TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, Starring Chiwetel Ejifor, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt, Set for December 27th

by     Posted 1 year, 172 days ago

Fox Searchlight is getting its Oscar plans in order by announcing that they’ve set Steve McQueen‘s Twelve Years a Slave for December 27th.  Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York.  Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery.  The film has lined up one of the best casts in recent memory.  In addition to Ejifor, the film also stars Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Quvenzhane Wallis, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, and Benedict Cumberbatch.  Fox Searchlight’s Oscar odds also go up when you consider that two films involving slavery—Lincoln and Django Unchained—grabbed Best Picture nominations last year (somehow, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter missed the cut).

The only other film set for December 27th’s is The Weinstein Company’s Oscar-hopeful Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly.  I can’t wait to see Twelve Years a Slave, and I hope it will play at TIFF like McQueen’s first two features, Hunger and Shame.

Paul Giamatti Talks JOHN DIES AT THE END, the HBO Movie K BLOWS TOP, BUBBA NOSFERATU, and Steve McQueen’s TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE

by     Posted 1 year, 264 days ago

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John Dies at the End, a horror comedy from writer/director Don Coscarelli (The Beastmaster, Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep), follows John (Rob Mayes) and David (Chase Williamson), college drop-outs who can barely hold out jobs, but who soon find themselves on a journey to save humanity from an otherworldly invasion.  The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman and Doug Jones.  For more on the film,watch the red band trailer.

At the film’s press day, actor Paul Giamatti, who’s also an executive producer on the movie, talked about what drew him to John Dies at the End, his most memorable experience of the shoot, working with such new actors, how he sees the industry now, and that he doesn’t think a film like Sideways would even get made today.  He also talked about his upcoming role as Nikita Khrushchev for the HBO movie K Blows Top, the status of Bubba Nosferatu, and his role in Steve McQueen’s next film, Twelve Years A Slave.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Sarah Paulson Talks AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM, Her Character’s Dark Story Arc, Returning for Season 3, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 312 days ago

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Set in 1964, the FX drama series American Horror Story: Asylum takes viewers into Briarcliff, a haven for the criminally insane, ruled with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), a nun with a troubled past.  Inside this locked down facility, danger lurks around every corner, whether it’s a doctor who loves to torture, flesh eating creatures in the forest, alien experimentation or the serial killer Bloody Face, and no one is safe.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Sarah Paulson, who plays involuntary inmate Lana Winters, talked about how she became a part of the show, her reaction when she found out what she would be doing this season, how traumatic it’s been to go through some of the emotional and physical aspects of the role, that however bad viewers think things are for Lana now, they’re going to get a whole lot worse, and how she would love to return again next season.  She also talked about her role as the jealous wife of Michael Fassbender’s character in Twelve Years A Slave, the experience of working with director Steve McQueen, and how she’d love to play a character in the ‘70s.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.  

Paul Giamatti Talks TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, Working with Director Steve McQueen, His Role As a Wealthy Slave Trader and How Difficult It Was to Play

by     Posted 1 year, 314 days ago

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One of the films for 2013 that I’m most intrigued by is Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years A Slave, based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York during the mid-1800′s that was kidnapped and sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before the American Civil War.  The cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor (as the lead character), Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt and Paul Giamatti, who recently spoke about the film and his role in it, while doing press for another upcoming film he has, the horror comedy John Dies at the End (which will be available on VOD on December 27th and in theaters on January 25, 2013).

Giamatti talked about how wild it was to be a part of such a historically terrifying story, that he describes as “a horror movie, in itself,” and said that he played one of the wealthiest slave traders in America, at that time, how difficult it was to do some of what his characters does to these people, and how amazing it was to work with the director, who wanted to create a world it which these actions were completely normal.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Set Photo Confirms BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Star Quvenzhane Wallis Has Joined Steve McQueen’s TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE

by     Posted 2 years, 45 days ago

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Though we’re a little more than halfway through the year, we’ve likely already seen the release of one of the best films of 2012: Beasts of the Southern Wild.  The magical, emotional drama is a film unlike any other, and its success is due in no small part to its force of nature star Quvenzhane Wallis, who was merely five years old when she landed the lead role.  A set photo from director Steve McQueen’s (Shame) upcoming period drama Twelve Years a Slave now confirms that the immensely talented actress has joined Chiwetel Ejoifor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brad Pitt as part of the cast.

The film tells the true story of Solomon Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York who was abducted and forced into over a decade of slavery in the south.  Judging by this set photo, it appears that Wallis will be playing Northup’s daughter.  Hit the jump to take a look.

Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan Talk RUBY SPARKS, Bringing Their Characters to Life, LOOPER, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, THE F-WORD and More

by     Posted 2 years, 51 days ago

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A sharp, modern take on the Pygmalion myth, Ruby Sparks is the story of a novelist’s vision that inexplicably comes to life, only to prove far more complicated than even he could have imagined.  Ruby (Zoe Kazan) starts out as an idea in Calvin’s (Paul Dano) mind, but he creates her with such a strong individualistic desire to be her own person that he is ultimately forced to grow in order to accommodate her strength and evolution.  Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris from a first screenplay by actress and playwright Kazan, the film constantly challenges the audience as it takes an unpredictable route into fantasy, identity and the ways we invent love and how love reinvents us.

At the press day for Ruby Sparks, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Kazan and Dano to talk about what happens when a writer tries to make a relationship from his imagination work in the real world.  They told us what the experience was like bringing their characters to life on screen, how they approached the film’s most physically and emotionally challenging sequences, and why Dayton & Faris were the perfect duo to direct the film.  They also revealed their next projects including Dano’s upcoming For Ellen, Looper and Twelve Years a Slave and Kazan’s The F-Word.

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