Credit: HOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Fassbender scored plenty of acting honors (but missed out on an Oscar nomination) for his last collaboration with director Steve McQueen, the erotic drama Shame, and it looks like their pair’s latest pic is being set up to give the very busy Prometheus star another shot at golden glory: Fox Searchlight will open the duo’s slavery drama Twelve Years a Slave in limited release on December 27 – just in time to qualify for next year’s Academy Awards.

Twelve Years is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Salt, 2012), a free black man in upstate New York, who is abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War deep south. Fassbender plays a cruel slave owner in the film, which also co-stars Brad Pitt as a Canadian abolitionist.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson and Beasts of the Southern Wild Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis also appear.

Twelve Years a Slave is Fassbender’s third McQueen film. The pair previously worked together on the 2008 prison drama Hunger and 2011’s Shame, for which Fassbender landed Golden Globe, BAFTA and Critic’s Choice Award nominations.

The busy actor has multiple films in the works, including a star-studded, top-secret project from legendary director Terrence Malick that features Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett, and Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, which also features Pitt as well as Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz. He is set to return as Magneto in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Pitt will next be seen in June’s hotly anticipated zombie epic World War Z.

Follow John on Twitter: @JohnMitchell83

Read more:

12 Years a Slave

  • Movie
  • R
  • 134 minutes
  • Steve McQueen