Signaling hopes for Oscar nominations, Fox Searchlight has set a Dec. 27 limited release for director Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave, based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir of the same title. The book recounts Northrup’s struggles to return to his family and his life as a free black man in upstate New York after being kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.
The movie stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northrup, with Brad Pitt as a Canadian abolitionist, Michael Fassbender, as a cruel plantation owner who enslaves Northup. Also starring are Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Kenneth Williams and the youngest actress to ever receive an Oscar nomination, Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild). After the limited release, it will expand to more theaters in January.