New Regency is in talks to co-finance and distribute Steve McQueen's adaptation of the Solomon Northup’s memoir 'Twelve Years a Slave'.
Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen make quite the team, especially after last year - when they made the very raw and very powerful film Shame. Both Fassbender and McQueen were praised for their performances and directing, respectively and when Shame was gathering critical steam, McQueen was already lining up to direct his next feature, an adaptation of Solomon Northup’s memoir Twelve Years a Slave.
Deadline reports that New Regency is in negotiations to co-finance and distribute the film, which sees Chiwetel Ejiofor play Northup, Fassbender as a plantation owner, and Brad Pitt in the role of a Northern lawyer who helps free Northup. Pitt’s Plan B production company will also help produce the film.
For those who are not familiar with story, Twelve Years a Slave is based on a book of the same name written by Northup, who was actually born free but became a slave after he was drugged by two men who claimed to be circus promoters. Forced to claim he was born a slave, Northup suffered the hardships of slavery and was beaten often but, with the help of a white carpenter from Canada, not only was Northup able to send word to his wife in the North, he was also able to secure the legal counsel needed to regain his freedom.
Twelve Years a Slave marks the third time that Fassbender and McQueen have worked together. The two actually started their working relationship with McQueen’s Hunger, a movie that centers on Fassbender’s character going on a hunger strike.
According to the report, the movie will be made on a $20 million budget and River Road’s Bill Pohlad jumped on the project to provide a substantial piece of the financing and Summit will sell the international territories.
Fassbender can next be seen staring alongside Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, and Idris Ilba in the highly anticipated Ridley Scott-directed sci-fi flick Prometheus in June. He will also be working with Scott once more on the Cormac McCarthy-scripted The Counselor. Of course, Fassbender will also be keeping busy by reprising his role as Magento in the unofficially titled X-Men: First Class 2 - which begins shooting in January.
Production on Twelve Years a Slave is scheduled to start late June in Louisiana.