Paul Giamatti Joins 12 Years a Slave


Just days after casting Benedict Cumberbatch in his period drama 12 Years a Slave, writer/director Steve McQueen has added Paul Giamatti to the cast. Variety has the news, also reporting that Garret Dillahunt, Sarah Paulson, Scoot McNairy and Ruth Negga have signed on. They all join 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.

You can read the full text of Northrup’s original writing online at Documenting the American South.

(Photo Credit: Ian Wilson/