New Images From Twelve Years A Slave

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender & Benedict Cumberbatch in action

After Hunger and Shame, director Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender appear able to do no wrong, so we have high hopes of their latest collaboration Twelve Years A Slave. Based on the autobiography of Solomon Northup, it's the story of a free man tricked and captured and sold into slavery in the American south in the 19th century.

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Northup, with Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps, the sadistic man who planter who 'owned' him for most of his tenure as a slave. Sarah Paulson plays Epps' wife, with fellow slaves played by Beasts Of The Southern Wild's Dwight Henry and newcomer Lupita Nyongo. Nyongo plays Patsey, who has what's described as a "volatile relationship" with Epps, much to the dismay of both Paulson and Ejiofor's characters. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a more sympathetic slave owner, to the extent that that's a thing.

Twelve Years A Slave Stilss
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Twelve Years A Slave was co-written by McQueen and John Ridley (Red Tails, U-Turn) and also stars Quvenzhané Wallis, Garret Dillahunt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti and Scoot McNairy. It hits UK cinemas on January 24, 2014 and select US cinemas on December 27 - which, here's a shock, lands it within the awards window. Expect it to feature among nominees for everything going next year, on McQueen's past performance.