Steve McQueen’s Shame, which reaches theaters on Dec. 2 after a successful festival run, is a riveting, uncompromising look at a Manhattan sex addict, played to perfection by McQueen’s frequent collaborator Michael Fassbender. It’s a powerful film that should contend for multiple awards as the Oscar race marches along. And I mean no disrespect by looking past Shame, because it’s great, but hot damn, McQueen’s next project sounds fantastic and I’m kind of wishing it were opening on Dec. 2, as well.
Fassbender once again will team up with McQueen for Twelve Years a Slave, based on an 1853 autobiography of a free man from New York who is tricked into slavery while on a trip to Washington, D.C. In addition to Fassbender, though, Screen Daily (via The Playlist) reports that Brad Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor are joining the cast.
Pitt reportedly has been developing this story for years, and plans to produce through his Plan B shingle. McQueen, who co-wrote the Slave screenplay with Three Kings scribe John Ridley, begins filming next year, though we don’t know yet when the film could reach theaters.
It’s going to be a tough wait. McQueen shows such progress as a patient, probing filmmaker from his debut, Hunger, and then from Shame. I’d essentially watch Fassbender or Ejiofor in anything, and adding Pitt to the mix only increases anticipation. Pitt’s involvement also could get Slave into more theaters, so long as McQueen avoids the NC-17 rating that may cause distribution headaches for Shame distributor Fox Searchlight.
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