First Trailer for ’12 Years a Slave’ Released

The first trailer for the highly anticipated 12 Years a Slave has been released. The film is directed by Steve McQueen and based on the autobiography published by Solomon Northrup in 1853; it tells the true story of Northrup  — born a free man in New York, but kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. The film is expected to be a major contender this awards season and stars everyone, including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson and Quvenzhané Wallis.

Up until now, those involved were incredibly secretive about the project. When I asked Pitt about the movie in June he called it a “beautiful film,” but declined to go into more detail saying: “I’m gonna be talking about it [when it comes out] a lot.” Pitt himself plays a Canadian abolitionist, Cumberbatch and Fassbender both play slave owners who look menacingly evil, Ejiofor plays Northrup.

12 Years a Slave is set to come out October 18.