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

     June 18, 2013


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.

Via USA Today.

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  • Timothy Hurley

    I suspect that this will be the movie Tarantino would have liked to be able to make.
    Something that actually hits hard emotionally and is not a pseudo serious popcorn movie like Django. It’ll be interesting to see a mature director’s take on the subject and not an arrogant egomaniac’s.

    • axalon

      I don’t know, I think Tarantino has enough clout to make whatever type of movie he wants to make. If he wanted to make a movie like this, he would have.

      • AlanMorlock

        I think they meant in terms of talent, not in terms of dealing with interference.

      • Jason Richards

        He means that Tarantino doesn’t have the talent of Steve MCqueen to even try to attempt to make a movie like this.

      • axalon

        They’re two completely different types of directors who like to tackle different types of material.

      • Guest

        Tarantino=no talent but McQueen=Talent? In what, “opposite universe?” Oh yeah, a director that makes movies that people want to see=NO talent vs. a director that makes movies very few people want to see=TEEMING with talent. Directors that bring in $= NO talent vs. a director that makes very little $=TEEMING with talent. A director EVERYBODY wants to work with=NO talent vs. a director only 1 person (Fassbender) wants to work with b/c he can’t work with the other one because he boinked the baby mama of the funding source for the talented director=TEEMING with talent.

      • Guest

        Oh, sorry, I momentarily left fantasy land a/k/a “opposite universe” and came back to Earth with that last comment. What I meant was Fass-anova boinked bender’s babe (Lawrence Bender, i.e., the funding source for Tarantino) and now Fassanova apparently can’t work with Tarantino anymore. In my universe (the one most of us live in) Tarantino is the talented director that entertains, makes money because he makes movies that audiences want to see, and actors want to work with, etc., and McQueen is not.

      • Jason Richards

        I couldn’t follow a damn thing you just typed man.

      • lily l broosha

        Then sober up…unless you haven’t yet passed 4th grade reading comprehension national exams. Then, sorry sweetie…don’t mean to be mean…


      Looking at his filmography, Tarantino obviously wants to make mainstream referential exploitation films; I don’t see any evidence to the contrary that he wants his films to be considered ‘serious’ drama. It’s a matter of personal taste; not what you or I think he should or what anyone thinks he wanted to make. They’ll be two different films with a similar subject; would you rather two talented directors make the same type of film? I prefer variety in my entertainment.

  • justkiddingnobutseriously

    On top of the amazing cast, Zimmer is scoring. Double extra credit bonus points.

  • Bob

    I’m just wondering how many awards this movie is gonna be nominated for. Best Picture? Actor? Supporting Actor? Score?

    Hope it lives up to the hype this story and cast is giving it

    • Strong Enough

      remember. a black director is making it so you know the oscars won’t judge it accordingly

      • Timothy Hurley

        Needs more Ron Howard

    • Jay

      Slavery is big right now, especially with Obama’s struggle against those white dudes in Congress that have been putting him in chains.

      Sociopolitical drama is totally mainstream. Woo, I guess!

      • -

        “especially with Obama’s struggle against those white dudes in Congress that have been putting him in chains”
        Because obstructionist Congress = slavery. Yup.
        *rolls eyes*

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  • Hari

    If there is any justice in this world, Fassbender will be nominated for an Oscar this year. The guy is the most talented working actor today, and the fact that Jonah Hill is an Academy Award nominee and he isn’t… is a joke.

    Maybe a Jamie Foxx style double nomination is in the cards…

    Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ridley Scott’s The Counselor


    Best Supporting Actor for Twelve Years a Slave

    • Bob

      Thing is I can see that happening, Fassbender is that great of an actor. Him and Ryan Gosling are easily the best of their young generation with Fassbender in the lead imo. He should have actually won Best Actor for Shame but wasn’t even nominated which is insane. I could def see him getting the Double Oscar Nom nod. Hope he pulls out some great performances and does.

      • DG

        Ryan Gosling is good and all but I’d put Benedict Cumberbatch way ahead of him in best of their generation category. Him, Fassbender and Tom Hardy would easily top my list.

      • Hari

        This… Gosling is a respectable actor but he is not that good, IMO. I wish someone could explain why he is thrown on the best of lists. The guy hasn’t shown me anything that suggests he has any range at all beyond quiet, brooding, good looking guy.

      • Zack

        Gosling was amazing in blue valentine, but i’d put fassbender, cumberbatch and hardy above him imo

      • Jason Richards

        Gosling is an outstanding actor. Watch Lars and The Real Girl and The Believer.

      • Bob

        I can agree with Hardy but I still need to see more from Cumberbatch, what I have seen so far show’s me he is a great actor though. Gosling imo is fantastic, just watch Blue Valentine, Drive, The Place Beyond the Pines, Lars, The Believer. Even in Crazy Stupid Love he’s fantastic. Fassbender and Hardy are better though I will say.

      • DG

        You probably haven’t seen the show “Sherlock” then. He absolutely owns that role.They got it on Netflix if you have it!

      • Hari

        Agree and disagree.

        I don’t want to seem like a super fan, but Fassbender is one of the best actors I’ve ever seen. He is so magnificent in everything he has been apart of, and really just a once in a generation talent. Its hard not to ooh and awe. He kills even the most generic of roles… like Prometheus for example. Not the best movie or meatiest role, and he was phenomenal still.

        Gosling is an okay actor. He is no where near Fassbender in terms of talent or range. To be honest, I don’t understand the acclaim for Gosling. He is right in the middle of the Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hemsworth Bros club for me. I’ve yet to see him do anything great. He looks good, I guess. But that is it. It always feels like we are watching variations of Ryan Gosling, movie star. Fassbender (and other great actors) become the characters they are playing.

      • -

        The lack of Joaquin Phoenix disturbs me.

      • Bob

        True, he is amazing as well. Funny how names slip your mind then someone mentions them and your like my G*D how did I forget haha. My top 3 would prob be Fassbender, Phoenix, and Hardy. Gosling in the top 5 for me. Cumberbatch is rising and fast. He has at least 2 more movies he’s in this year and can’t wait to see him in both.

    • Jason Richards

      Yeah, Jonah Hill getting a nomination for Moneyball was idiotic. The academy is taking away all of the prestige and glory of nominations and the actual award.

      • Bob

        Yea tbh it was pretty dumb. He looks to better in the trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street then his Oscar nominee performance in Moneyball, and thats only the trailer. I think he could maybe earn a nomination this time, that is if McConaughey doesn’t get it for Wolf of Wall Street instead.

  • Hop

    I really want to see this film! AMAZING cast.

  • JeffWaweru

    and Lupita Nyong’o too! Don’t forget Lupita Nyong’o!

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  • Arthur

    If anyone seen Hunger and Shame you just know this Twelve Years A Slave would be a severe hard movie to sit through.

    • lily l broosha

      Yes, that is the consensus on the internet (from what I have read). Agreed. All of Steve McQueen’s movies are “severe hard movie(s)” to sit through. They are all THAT bad.
      ETA: as a director whose job it is to entertain through film, don’t suppose he’d want to make a movie (at some point) where people would actually want to watch and “sit through,” eh?

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