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:

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

Source: Apple