The news has been non-stop for Shame director Steve McQueen‘s period drama Twelve Years a Slave over the past few months, which is great sign. Although we’ve already got some big names — Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatchas well as Paul Dano and Brad Pitt — locked down, THR has informed us that Alfre Woodard and Lupita Nyong’o have also joined the cast.

The film is based on Solomon Northup‘s autobiography, of which he wrote in 1853. The script “tells how Northup (Ejiofor) was kidnapped and put in a slave pen, paving the way for a grueling life under numerous owners.” Fassbender will be playing slave owner Master Epps, with Pitt playing only a small role as a lawyer who helps exonerates Ejiofor‘s character.

As for our newcomers, Woodard will be playing “Mistress Shaw, a former slave who has risen in the Southern cast system.” Nyong’o will also be playing a slave “who is the object of both the affections and cruelty of” Fassbender‘s character. Although these ladies will probably have relatively small screen time, I’m still impressed with everyone who gets attached to be a part of this project — Paul GiamattiSNL actor Taran Killam and Killing Them Softly‘s Scoot McNairy have also been cast in various roles.

Expect Twelve Years a Slave to hit theaters next year, as the seven-week production begins on June 25th in New Orleans.

What are your thoughts on the ever-growing cast of Twelve Years a Slave?

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