Steve McQueen to Have Chiwetel Ejiofor Spend 'Twelve Years a Slave'

August 16, 2011
Source: THR

Chiwetel Ejiofor

While the forthcoming spaghetti western Django Unchained from Quentin Tarantino will deal with the despicable slavery of the past in fictional form, a new film from Brad Pitt's Plan B production company will also delve into slavery by way of an adaptation of Twelve Years a Slave, an Solomon Northup's 1853 autobiography. Solomon was a free black man who found himself kidnapped and turned into a slave for twelve, long, grueling years under numerous owners. THR says Salt and Inside Man star Chiwetel Ejiofor will star as Northrup, while Hunger co-writer and director Steve McQueen will be directing. More below!

Northup was a happy, married, educated and free black man living in New York who was approached by two men with a job offer in Washington D.C. But upon his arrival in the capitol, he was kidnapped, put in a slave pen and passed around through various slave owners for twelve years. As an autobiography, the book is a detailed firsthand account of the slave markets in D.C. right down to the food served to the slaves. Of course (spoiler alert!), the story has a happy ending with the man able to secure his freedom when a white carpenter from Canada, who didn't believe in slavery, smuggled out letters to Northup's wife, thus initiating a court case that set him free. Sounds like quite a powerful historical drama that could get Ejiofor some proper attention as a leading man. We'll keep an eye on this project as it develops.

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Reader Feedback - 4 Comments


This guy is a fantastic actor, and would have been a much better choice than Jamie Foxx as the lead in Django Unchained, in my opinion.

Craig on Aug 17, 2011


I agree craig, he should have been in Django, but this sounds just as good!

jah p on Aug 17, 2011


Jamie Foxx is a talented actor...he will do fine

Jay on Aug 18, 2011


England's finest young actor in my opinion, this guy will be more of a legend than Denzel is to black America.

iamjhw on Jan 4, 2012

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