Credit: Francois Duhamel

In 12 Years a Slave, director Steve McQueen (Shame) tells the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup, a free man thriving in the north who is abducted and sold into slavery in pre-Civil War America. On the plantation, Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men), is subjected to all forms of dehumanizing torture from Michael Fassbender’s ruthless plantation owner. “A man does how he pleases with his property,” Fassbender’s Edwin Epps snarls. This is not a Quentin Tarantino fable.

The first trailer for the star-studded film is as epic as its cast, which includes Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Quvenzhané Wallis, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, and Alfre Woodard, and uses a combination of Hans Zimmer’s composition “Time,” which was featured in Inception, and Zimmer’s “Journey to the Line“from The Thin Red Line. Check it out after the jump.

Fox Searchlight has set the theatrical release date for Oct. 18, 2013.

Note: An earlier version of this article credited only the Zimmer composition “Time.”

12 Years a Slave
  • Movie
  • R
  • 134 minutes
  • Steve McQueen