Benedict Cumberbatch, the leading man of the BBC’s “Sherlock,” has joined the cast of Steve McQueen’s upcoming 12 Years a Slave, Variety reports. He’ll star opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Paul Dano.
Based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northrup, 12 Years a Slave tells of Northrup’s tragic kidnapping in Washington DC in 1841 where, despite being born a free man, he was forced into slavery at a Louisiana cotton plantation until his rescue 12 years later.
McQueen co-wrote the adaptation with John Ridley (Red Tails) and will produce through Brad Pitt’s company, Plan B. Ejiofor, best known for roles in Children of Men and Redbelt, will portray Northrup while Dano will play a villainous slave owner.
You can read the full text of Northrup’s original writing online at Documenting the American South.
Cumberbatch can soon been seen on the big screen as the still-unidentified villain in the still-untitled Star Trek sequel. He’ll also be voicing the dragon, Smaug in Peter Jackson’s two part The Hobbit.
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