Steve McQueen‘s adaptation of Solomon Northup’s autobiography Twelve Years a Slave continues to put together a damn fine cast. Underrated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor signed on in August to play 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. A couple weeks ago, Michael Fassbender signed on to the project and now Screen Daily reports [and the The Playlist confirms] that Brad Pitt has joined the picture.
Pitt has been producing the project for several years through his Plan B shingle, however there are currently no details on his acting role. A successful marketing campaign for Shame should help raise McQueen’s profile and therefore the profile of Slave, but getting a major star like Pitt on board is a major asset when it comes to picking up financing. The movie should have no trouble finding buyers when it goes to the American Film Market next month. Hit the jump for a synopsis of a Northup’s autobiography.
Here’s the synopsis for Twelve Years a Slave:
Twelve Years a Slave is the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man and resident of New York, who was kidnapped in 1841and sold into slavery. He was rescued in 1853 after spending 12 years as a slave. Northup tells the story of how two men approached him under the guise of circus promoters who were interested in his violin skills. They offered him a generous but fair amount of money to work for their circus, and then offered to put him up in a hotel in Washington D.C. Upon arriving he was drugged, bound, and moved to a slave pen in the city. He is sold as a slave and spent 12 years working on farms in the South. It is not until a white carpenter from Canada, Samuel Bass, arrives at the farm on which Northup works that he reveals his past of a free man. Bass would deliver letters to Northup’s wife that would start the legal process of earning Northup his freedom. This classic of American history sheds light on slavery and the life of slaves in the mid 19th century. [Amazon]