Cumberbatch Joins Twelve Years A Slave

He's on for Steve McQueen's latest

Friend to fans of good Sherlock Holmes TV series and enemy to word processor spellcheckers Benedict Cumberbatch is the latest name added to Steve McQueen’s adaptation of Twelve Years A Slave, according to Variety.

With a script co-written by McQueen and John Ridley, Twelve Years is based on Solomon Northup’s real-life account of how he was kidnapped in Washington and sold into forced labour in 1841. After more than a decade away, he finally managed to sneak a message about his situation to his wife, who helped to organise his release.

Chiwetel Ejiofor is playing Northrup, with Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt in as-yet-unspecified roles. Paul Dano was the most recent addition, playing a brutal slave owner.

Cumberbatch, on the other hand, will play a plantation owner who forms a bond with Northrup after buying him and becoming impressed by his engineering skills. Ruth Negga, Taran Killam and Scoot McNairy are also all in the cast.

McQueen will start the cameras rolling at the end of June in New Orleans.