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.
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.
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.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories regarding three very promising projects to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Anton Yelchin has been cast in director Jim Jarmusch’s vampire film Only Lovers Left Alive.
- Alfre Woodard joins the impressive ensemble cast for Twelve Years a Slave.
- Alessandro Nivola has scored a pivotal role in the West Mempis Three film Devil’s Knot opposite Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon.
Hit the jump for more on each actor’s casting.
With production looming closer, director Steve McQueen is lining up an increasingly impressive cast for the historical drama Twelve Years a Slave. The story is based on the true life events of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was living in New York in the 1840s when he was duped into taking a job in Washington, D.C. only to be kidnapped and forced into manual labor on a Louisiana plantation. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) is set in the lead role of Northup, with a stellar supporting cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ruth Negga, Paul Dano, Taran Killam (Saturday Night Live) and Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly).
McQueen has stacked his cast even further, as Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson (Game Change), and Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope) are the latest additions. Hit the jump for details on their roles.
Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse, Sherlock) is the latest addition to New Regency’s historical drama, Twelve Years a Slave. In what’s shaping up to be one of my most anticipated films, Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave already features Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men), Adepero Oduye (Pariah), Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). The story is based on the true life events of Solomon Northup (Ejiofor), a free black man who was living in New York in the 1840s when he was duped into taking a job in Washington, D.C. only to be kidnapped and forced into manual labor on a Louisiana plantation. Hit the jump for more information on the picture, including Cumberbatch’s role.
We’ve got some Little Miss Sunshine alumni casting news today: one’s an Oscar-nominated topliner and the other is a BAFTA-nominated addition to an already phenomenal cast. Check out the headlines below:
- Abigail Breslin is set to star in the title role of Final Girl, a thriller from debut director Tyler Shields.
- Paul Dano will join the cast of Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave, a picture that already boasts Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Adepero Oduye and Brad Pitt.
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
James Badge Dale is one of those actors that while you know his work, you don’t yet know his name. However, I think that’s about to change. Because after starring in HBO’s The Pacific, AMC’s short lived but really well done Rubicon, and as Michael Fassbender’s friend and boss in Steve McQueen‘s Shame, Dale has shown his versatility and range and he’s become one of those actors that I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next. And with his roles in Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey, Robert Zemeckis‘ Flight, Marc Forster‘s World War Z alongside Brad Pitt, and Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger, it looks like I’m not the only one who is a fan of his work.
Last week I got to sit down with Dale for an extended interview at The Grey junket. Since I spoke to him on camera for The Grey before this interview, I decided to use this time to ask other questions. We talked about how he got into acting, does he still have to audition, what making Shame was like (he tells some great behind the scenes stories), Rubicon (for fans of the show he talks about a different final episode that was never shot), how he had to fight to be in Robert Zemeckis’ Flight and what he did to land the role, comments on McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave, and discusses The Lone Ranger. He calls it a “big, fun Western” with “a different take on it.” Hit the jump for more.
[This is a reprint of my review from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Shame opens tomorrow in limited release.]
Alcoholics are told they’ll never find love in a bottle and drug addicts are told they’ll never find happiness in a needle. But what about sex addicts whose compulsion precludes them from intimacy and love? Steve McQueen‘s Shame delves deep into the life of a sex addict and with laser-like focus examines the pain and torment that can drive such a person away from heartfelt interactions and towards self-destruction. McQueen’s inspired and confident direction coupled with a heart-breaking performance from star Michael Fassbender makes Shame far more than a PSA or a righteous condemnation. McQueen and Fassbender make Shame a devastating powerhouse.
While he was in L.A. to do press for the release of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (in theaters December 16th in IMAX and December 21st on all other screens), Collider got the opportunity to participate in a roundtable with actor Jeremy Renner. Even though we’re holding that portion of the interview until the week of the film’s release, and we already posted what he had to say about his other upcoming franchise films, The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy, we also wanted to share what he had to say about a couple other projects he has on his slate.
In talking about what attracted him to the James Gray period drama Low Life, starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix, Renner said it was the opportunity to work with some of the best talent out there, playing a magician in the early 1900′s. He’s also involved in developing a Steve McQueen biopic, that’s more of an inside look at his life then a career retrospective. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Fox Searchlight has debuted an online-only red-band trailer for Steve McQueen‘s Shame. Like the previous trailers, Fox Searchlight has refused to manufacture a controversy based on the NC-17 rating or pretend there’s a titillating aspect to McQueen’s movie. I really dig this new trailer, and the way it’s cut together does a subtle job of conveying the sexual addiction of the film’s protagonist, Brandon (Michael Fassbender). The trailer is interspersed with brief clips from Brandon’s sexual encounters, but I couldn’t spot any nudity (although you can probably find some if you go through frame-by-frame).
Hit the jump for the trailer. The film also stars Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale. Shame opens in limited release this Friday.
Co-written and directed by Steve McQueen, the NC-17 rated Shame is a provocative and emotionally raw drama that tells the story of Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a handsome and successful New Yorker who is so consumed with his sexual obsession that he is on an inevitable path towards self-destruction. When his wayward sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), comes to crash at his Manhattan apartment, Brandon’s constant quest for numbness clashes with Sissy’s need to be loved.
At a press conference to promote the film’s release, writer/director Steve McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender talked about what inspired this story, their thoughts on the NC-17 rating for the film, why they enjoy collaborating together, and creating an atmosphere on set where everyone knows each other and works together to get the job done. Fassbender also talked about how blessed he is to work with the people he’s being allowed to work with, at this point in his career. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
Fox Searchlight has released a new trailer for Steve McQueen‘s adult drama Shame. The film centers on Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a man whose carefully constructed facade conceals his sex addiction. Wearing its NC-17 rating like a badge of pride, the new trailer uses blurbs to stress how this is a movie for adults in the vein of movies like Last Tango in Paris and Midnight Cowboy. It also features Carey Mulligan (who plays Brandon’s sister, Sissy) heartbreaking rendition of “New York, New York”, which is one of my favorite scenes in 2011.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Shame opens in limited release on December 2nd.
Continuing on with more information out of AFM, we’ve got the first synopsis and promo poster for 12 Years a Slave. Director Steve McQueen (Shame) reteams with Michael Fassbender in this adaptation of Solomon Northup’s autobiography. Northup was a free, educated black man living in New York City when he was kidnapped and forced into slavery for 12 years in the South. Chiwetel Ejofor stars as Northup alongside Fassbender and Brad Pitt. McQueen’s Shame is garnering serious awards attention (especially for Fassbender’s performance), and brutally candid touch should make 12 Years a Slave an unflinching and emotional pic. Hit the jump to check out the promo image and detailed synopsis.
The US trailer for Steve McQueen‘s Shame has gone online. For those unfamiliar with the movie, Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, a sex addict whose tightly-constructed world is slowly spiraling out of control and the situation becomes exacerbated when his screw-up sister (Carey Mulligan) intrudes on his life. Fox Searchlight isn’t running from the NC-17 rating and they’re using it to sell the film as something for mature adults, not something controversial or designed to titillate (one of the film’s greatest triumphs is that despite the graphic and frequent sex, none of it is sexy). The trailer does a fine job of showing how Brandon’s life begins to break apart, although the closing image is a little too reassuring.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and click here to read my review from the Toronto International Film Festival. Shame opens in limited release on December 2nd.