Whether you caught his previous films Hunger and Shame or only heard all the jokes about Michael Fassbender's penis, there's plenty of reason to look forward to director Steve McQueen's upcoming third film, 12 Years A Slave. It's a huge departure for the visual-artist-turned-director, bringing back Fassbender in a supporting role but primarily focusing on Solomon Northrup, a man played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was living as a free black man in pre-Civil War upstate New York when he was kidnapped and forced into slavery. Sure, that's a grim story, but with a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Beasts of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhane Wallis, The Wire's Michael K. Williams and other luminaries, it ought to hit hard.
Now some early buzz confirms our high expectations. Deadline reports that distributor Fox Searchlight has been testing the film and earned fantastic audience response, which has inspired them to give Slave an even better Oscar season release date. It had originally been scheduled for December 27, but now the studio will begin a "limited platform release"-- meaning it will open in a handful of theaters at a time until it's eventually everywhere-- on October 18.
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