Steve McQueen (Shame, Hunger) is back with his third feature film, and the first images have been released. Based on Solomon Northup‘s 1853 autobiography, McQueen’s latest, is just what it sounds like. The film which the director describes as “a very painful, brutal experience,” follows Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery. McQueen says his journey “was the Anne Frank story of America of that time” comparing the central character to a Sidney Poitier or even Harry Belafonte type. There’s a certain kind of class and dignity about him. He brings that with him wherever he goes.” The film boasts an incredible cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Alfre Woodard, Garret Dillahunt, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Scoot McNairy, Sarah Paulson, Michael K. Williams, Chris Chalk, Dwight Henry, Quvenzhane Wallis and Brad Pitt, who doubles as producer. Fox Searchlight is releasing 12 Years A Slave on December 27, 2013.