Here’s some news I’ve wanted to hear for months. According to Deadline, 20th Century Fox and New Regency are on the cusp of getting behind Twelve Years a Slave, the third film from Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame). New Regency are finalizing talks to produce the film — Fox would distribute via an output deal — alongside Brad Pitt‘s Plan B and Bill Pohlad (The Tree of Life), forming a trifecta that, with the power of a desire to see quality filmmaking, pushes this thing all the way forward. The picture’s a low-budget affair — Plan B have it pegged at somewhere around $20 million — and with a couple of bankable names getting put above the poster, it’s sort of a win-win for everyone involved. (That is, if “everyone” includes us, the viewing audience.)
Slave will see Chiwetel Ejiofor portray Solomon Northup — author of the film’s source memoir — a free black man who was kidnapped and forced into slavery during in 1841, only to be freed in early 1853; Michael Fassbender is reuniting with McQueen, playing a slave owner; and Pitt will cameo as the lawyer who helps exonerate Northup. It’s a great cast and a great filmmaker tackling one of the most indispensable accounts of America’s most shameful period. What, you want more? You can’t even get it.
Production will begin at the end of June, which should make this a late 2013 release.
Are you happy to hear that Slave is coming together on the financial side of things?