In what’s turning into quite the fruitful relationship, Michael Fassbender is reteaming with director Steve McQueen for the third time on McQueen’s drama 12 Years a Slave. Fassbender first worked with McQueen on 2008’s Hunger, and most recently collaborated on Shame, which screened at the Toronto Film Festival to highly positive reviews, including raves for Fassbender’s performance (Matt called it “a devastating powerhouse”). Based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northrup, 12 Years a Slave stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as the married and educated free black man living in New York who was kidnapped by two men and put into a slave pen where he lived twelve years under forced slavery. Variety’s report doesn’t specify what role Fassbender will take on, but production is set to begin early next year. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Northrup’s book.
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]