Watch Michael Fassbender As Slave Owning Jerk In ’12 Years A Slave’

Multimedia artist turned critically acclaimed filmmaker of Hunger and Shame, Steve McQueen, returns with yet another exploration of harrowing subject matter in 12 Years A Slave, a movie about (duh) slavery, set in pre-Civil War United States. Based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free man abducted and sold into slavery, 12 Years stars British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (who was sublime in 2002’s Dirty Pretty Things and virtually everything he’s appeared in), and McQueen has reunited with his favourite leading man Michael Fassbender to play the central antagonist: the cruel and pious slave owner.

The first official trailer has been released today and based on the 2.30 minute cut of footage the movie already looks great. With McQueen’s consummate skill for translating characters to screen, a terrific cast (that also includes support from Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard and Academy Award nominated tween Quvenzhané Wallis) as well as the preemptive confidence boost of a Boxing Day release date, 12 Years A Slave is setting itself up as one of the must-see films of 2013.

Official synopsis:

12 Years A Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.