Benedict Cumberbatch Joins Steve McQueen’s ‘Twelve Years A Slave’
From Variety
Cumberbatch joins ‘12 Years a Slave’ ‘Sherlock’ star to play plantation owner By Justin Kroll


Steve McQueen is directing the pic starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt.

Based on Solomon Northrup’s 1853 nonfiction tome, New Regency pic stars Ejiofor as the author, a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery. Cumberbatch will play a plantation owner who buys Ejiofor’s character and is won over by his engineering skills.

McQueen co-wrote the script with John Ridley (“Red Tails”). Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce for Plan B.

Production will start at the end of June, and CAA is arranging financing for the pic in addition to repping its U.S. rights.

Cumberbatch, repped by UTA and Conway Van Gelder, has broken out recently in film with strong roles in Paramount’s “Star Trek 2,” Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the indie “Phoenix.” HBO’s “Parade’s End.”


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Benedict Cumberbatch Joins Steve McQueen’s ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ With Michael Fassbender & Chiwetel Ejiofor News by Kevin Jagernauth | May 31, 2012 10:43 PM
Benedict Cumberbatch has arrived. The “Sherlock” star already spent 2011 in some pretty high profile fare like “War Horse” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” earned big praise for his turn opposite Jonny Miller in Danny Boyle’s stage rendition of “Frankenstein” and has bagged major roles in a couple of upcoming franchise, “The Hobbit” and “Star Trek 2.” And he’s continuing to add to his impressive CV with a role in Steve McQueen’s eagerly anticipated new film.

Cumberbatch has joined the solid cast of Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Adepero Oduye, Scoot McNairy, Ruth Negga and Taran Killam in “Twelve Years A Slave.” The based on a true story tale follows Solomon Northrup, a freed slave in the 1800s who is tricked and sold back into slavery. Cumberbatch will play a plantation owner who buys him and becomes impressed with Northrup’s engineering skills.

Production on the film begins at the end of June and we’ll toss out the suggestion that a premiere at Cannes next year wouldn’t be entirely out of the question. It would be a homecoming for McQueen who won the Camera d’Or there in 2008 for “Hunger” and a great place to unveil what looks to be yet another fascinating dramatic work from the helmer. Needless to say, we can’t wait. [Variety]

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