Steve McQueen to make 12 Years A Slave

Chiwetel Ejiofor will star

Having dealt with the 1981 Irish hunger strike in the aptly named Hunger, director Steve McQueen will turn his attentions to yet more gruelling subject matter in the form of slavery.

Brad Pitt is producing an adaptation of Solomon Northrup’s autobiography Twelve Years A Slave, and The Hollywood Reporter claims that McQueen has been signed up to helm the project.

Northrup’s autobiography, written in 1853, tells the horrific story of how the author (a free man at the time, and married to boot) was kidnapped after being approached with a phony job offer, and thrown into a life of enforced slavery.

Approached by two men, Northrup was invited to Washington D.C. to investigate a violinist’s vacancy at the circus the pair professed to own. Waking in his hotel to find himself drugged and bound, Northrup was moved to a city slave pen before spending 12 years working on various farms around America’s south.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, last seen in Angelina Jolie vehicle Salt, has signed on to play Northrup, whilst McQueen has co-written the screenplay with Three Kings scribe John Ridley.

The film will be released through Pitt’s Plan B production company, and will be that label’s next big release after the upcoming World War Z.

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