Back to IndieWire

Fox Searchlight Moves ’12 Years A Slave’ Release Date Up By Almost 2 Months

Fox Searchlight Moves '12 Years A Slave' Release Date Up By Almost 2 Months

This actually makes more sense to me. I wondered about the initially-planned December 27 release date.

Fox Searchlight has now moved up the theatrical debut of Steve McQueen’s highly-anticipated drama 12 Years A Slave, from December 27 to October 18 – almost 2 months up.

Why? As Deadline notes, Fox Searchlight felt that the film could do a lot better if released earlier, in the fall, instead of releasing it right around the start of the winter.

It’ll open in a limited roll-out and will then expand nationwide in successive weeks. 

I still fully expect it to premiere at one of this year’s remaining high profile international film festivals, before its new October 18 release date – like maybe the Venice Film Festival, or the Toronto International Film Festival.

The R-rated slave narrative, McQueen’s 3rd feature, boasts a rather impressive cast of actors, including: Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the star of the film and whose story it tells), Michael FassbenderRuth Negga, Adepero OduyeAlfre WoodardLupita Nyong’oPaul DanoBenedict CumberbatchScoot McNairyGarret DillahuntBrad PittMichael K. Williams Paul GiamattiSarah Paulson and others. 

I expect it to be an awards season favorite, especially in key roles, both in front of and behind the camera, in what will probably signal the beginning of the end of what I previously referred to as “slave movie fever.”

Last week, Fox Searchlight has released a set of official photos from the upcoming film, giving us our very first look at it. And with this reveal, I’ll say that the first trailer is a few days away, as is often the case when marketing engines begin (usually with some still photos to tease, followed by a poster, and then, finally, a first trailer).:

This Article is related to: News and tagged ,



What are you guys waiting for? We here in florida have been waiting those this film since we saw the coming attractions. Now us Floridians are being told that it has limited showings in certain states. How ridiculous is that. Please release the movie and let us be the judge of the movie. I. Feel like we are being held hostage and not being told when the release is going to happen, please tell us, we are big girls and boys and capable of making decisions for ourselves. Is it that you feel the people may find this picture too controversial? If this is the case, remember Roots! This is what happened to African Americans in the 1800's and we cannot change history,it is what it is! Please put on our big person panties and lets get this show on the road.


Should prove to be a phenomenal movie. I just finished the audio book, with Louis Gossett Jnr narrating, and it was truly powerful! Well worth reading or listening to the book before watching the movie- we all know the likelihood of reading the book after seeing the movie :) If you'd like to get a feel for the writing and narrative style, I heard it was one of the books on the Independence Day line up on bookreportradio(dot)com. They play an excerpt from the book during the show. The site gives details of the stations and schedules, as well as an archive page for past show recordings. I'm rather pleased they've moved up the release date – I'm away for 2 months over the time it was due for release, so will now get to watch it on the big screen.


Those photographs are very interesting, especially as you scroll down vertically if you're only seeing the top half of images and you are looking at the subjects' eyes. Some are very intimate but as you scroll down, there is an inherent malevolence lurking. Of particular note, the photo with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender (which looks intimate until you scroll down and see the knife pointing at Eijiofor's navel) and then there is the photo with the two ladies, obviously a slave auction. Quite jarring! If you see Sarah Paulson's face alone, she almost seems benevolent like she could be stroking someone's face until you look on the other side and see she is clearly violating the woman (sorry I don't know her name) as she pries open her mouth to check her teeth. Looking at the woman alone, she looks angry and terrorized all at once, the expression of one who is under assault.
These images really remind me that McQueen never leaves behind that visual arts aspect in his films.


This is a film I have been waiting to see soon on the screen. I WILL definitely be purchasing a ticket.


Although I might purchase a ticket for my folks because my daddy cannot get enough of these types of film, I myself will not support.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *