’12 Years a Slave’ Trailer – The True Story of a Free Man Enslaved

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 16th, 2014 at 2:55 pm,

Director Steve McQueen has assembled quite the cast for his sweeping slavery drama, 12 Years a Slave: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti and Alfre Woodard, among others. And judging by the trailer, all that talent has been put to good use.

The film, which follows the true story of Solomon Northup’s horrific journey from free man to slave and back again, has been quietly building buzz through test screenings, and it’s easy to see why. With what looks to be standout lead performances from Ejiofor and Fassbender, it’s no wonder that Fox Searchlight decided to move the film’s release date up from December to October to better position it for awards season. It’s too early to say definitively, but one can certainly imagine both actors earning nominations for their roles.

Another person that could get recognition come Oscar season is director Steve McQueen. While most film fans already know McQueen for his previous work with Michael Fassbender, namely his 2008 debut Hunger and the 2011 sex addiction drama Shame, 12 Years a Slave could be the movie that makes the director a household name.

Check out the film’s poster below:


12 Years a Slave Poster 280x170 12 Years a Slave Trailer   The True Story of a Free Man Enslaved

Slavery has often been called America’s original sin, and its implications continue to linger to this day. But few films have dealt with the issue candidly. (Django Unchained doesn’t count.) Hopefully, 12 Years a Slave will help break that trend and give audiences a true story that not only moves them, but gives them cause to reflect on our nation’s history.

Below is the official synopsis for the movie. For an HD version of the trailer, visit Apple.

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.”

Will you be seeing this movie in theaters, Screen Rant readers? Let us know in the comments.

12 Years a Slave hits theaters on October 18th, 2013.

Source: Apple

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  1. Looks good
    Steve McQueen might finally get the recognition he deserves and maybe a nomination for Fassbinder
    This one looks like a winner

  2. Why does everyone keep saying Fassbender will get an Oscar? I’m not saying he won’t. He probably will. But why no recognition for Chitwel, who looks equally great?

    • Fortunately they won’t be in competition. I hope Fassbender finally gets the Oscar nom he richly deserves, but I think Ejiofor will too–best supporting actor and best actor, respectively.

      • Ejiofor will be nominated for best actor. He’s the main charcter of the film. While Fassbender will surely get nominated for best supporting actor.

        Anybody elese agrees?

    • My thoughts exactly Bellcure. I think Chiwetel deserves recognition!

  3. Really looking forward to seeing this – literally the day before I saw this I was reading Frederick Douglass’ autobiography of his time as a slave, and he quotes the exact ‘Scripture’ that Fassenbender quotes here. Looks really well researched

  4. It looks excerlent. The 2014 Oscar horde goes to this film for sure I think even from just seeing the trailer.

  5. For some reason I thought this was set in the present day, didn’t realise it was a period piece, looks ok, will wait for the blu ray I think

  6. That trailer alone, you can hear Hans Zimmer clear as a bell. God I love his scores. This sounds a lot like Inception.

    • i think it is the same music from inception?

      • Nope
        It’s from the thin red line by Terrence malick

        • The music at the beginning of the trailer is from Inception, though. I believe the track is called Time.

  7. The music from the trailer is not from inception
    It’s from the thin red line , 1999 movie by Terrence malick
    It’s still an Hans Zimmer score but it’s not from inception , it’s from the thin red line

    • I think the confusion comes from the fact it was used in a trailer for inception, the same thing happened when it was used in a man of steel trailer.

      • No. Parts of the Thin Red Line track have very similar (almost identical) sequences that ‘Time’ from Inception has, hence the confusion. Hans clearly reused parts of it to make ‘Time’.

        • The track at the end is Journey to the Line though.

          • ah okay, i always thought it was the same track. Do you know which one was used on the man of steel trailer then?

    • The music from the first twenty seconds of the trailer is from Inception. It’s the fours piano keys. The song is called Time.

  8. Wow, that’s a pretty great cast.

    Also, anyone notice how Fassbender and Pitt love being in movies together?

  9. looks good. i’ll probably check it out.

  10. Looks great. Def will see it in theater.

  11. A historical piece. I think I’ll see it just to see if they actually did this accurately. Cumberbatch and Giamatti is enough for me to fork over ticket price.

  12. This looks fantastic. Not too sure anyone I know will be interested in seeing this, guess I’ll be going to the movies alone for this.

  13. It looks good but i dont understand the praise for fassbender. He is a fine actor but i find him often struggle to hold back his accent (see the end of xmen FC). As for pitt he seems to have brought back his Aldo Raines accent. The lead actor chitwel looks phenomenal, as does paul dano who im glad to see again

    • Your opinion. I, and lot of others apparently, thinks he fakes one just fine. I never knew he was German/Irish when I watched his films in 2011. He’s a great actor because we’re getting too much of the same BS we’ve seen before and Fassbender brings something new to the table.

      • I am just saying that he in X-men First Class in particular couldn’t hold is accent worth crap. James McAvoy acted circles around him and held his accent back like he was actually british. I have nothing against Fassbender he is a very good actor, I just don’t think he is on the level that some say he is, because he can’t hold back his Scottish accent IMO.

        • James Mcavoy is Scottish so he is actually British (I think you mean English) and Michael Fassbender’s accent is Irish.

          I do agree though that he struggles to hold his accent back in X-Men. He does a great job in Inglorious Basterds and Prometheus though. Most of the time he gets away with it by playing Irish characters e.g. Shame, Fish Tank, Hunger etc.

  14. I truly am expecting Nomination in multiple categories. For starters Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor(Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor(Michael Fassbender).

  15. What’s the music around 35 seconds in right when he’s betrayed and sold into slavery (kind of high tension with a slow bass beat)?

    I know I’ve heard it before but I can’t put my finger on it.

    • I believe that the score used towards the middle of this trailer is Wolf Suite, Pt 1 from The Wolfman (Danny Elfman)

      • its also in the trailer for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

  16. I have a really hard time watching movies about slavery. I think this one will be a must see.

  17. We are huge fans of half slave half free. Can’t wait to see this version.

  18. Does anybody know the name of the music that starts around 21 seconds in the trailer? It’s a really short piece of music with the violin.