Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt to star in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave

Sherlock star set to play a plantation owner in upcoming film about slavery, which also features Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has signed up to appear in a new film by director Steve McQueen.


Twelve Year a Slave will also feature turns from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, according to Variety.

The film is to be based on Solomon Northrup’s 1853 account of being kidnapped and bound into slavery, with Ejiofor starring as the author.

Cumberbatch will play a plantation owner who buys Ejiofor’s character, and is eventually won over by his newly-acquired slave’s skill at engineering.

McQueen co-wrote Twelve Years a Slave’s script with Red Tails screenwriter John Ridley, and production on the film is slated to begin at the end of June.


This latest film role follows a run of big-screen parts for Cumberbatch, who has recently filmed roles in Star Trek 2 and Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit.