12-years-a-slave-promo-poster-422x600Likely in my top two most anticipated films of the year is Steve McQueen’s upcoming 12 Years a Slave starring Chiwetel Ejifor, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt. Talk about an already stellar cast, the film also includes last year’s Oscar-nominated Quvenzhane Wallis, the snubbed Dwight Henry, and future Emmy winner this year Sarah Paulson.  And let’s not forget about the great Benedict Cumberbatch.

The new stills that have emerged give a very dark and dreary feel and the anticipation only grows substantially. As I attempt to get my Oscar Prediction pages together to go with the site’s new revamp, I’m already anticipating a Bruce Dern vs. Michael Fassbender battle in Supporting Actor. Assuming 12 Years a Slave doesn’t bomb out in the early festival circuit, I’m sure there will be admirers for McQueen’s film. Many of them will be the same ones that championed him for Shame (2011) and his earlier film Hunger (2008).

As the later film slate of 2013 gets closer, and no real solid or strong contenders to emerge just yet, the race already looks wide open. Perhaps this dark look at slavery, that some may call the “adult sized Django Unchained,” will have respect from Academy members. I’d keep a close eye on Chiwetel Ejifor in Lead Actor, an already established film thespian who has been marvelous in his filmography so far like his Golden Globe nominated turn in Kinky Boots (2005); even in smaller roles like in Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men (2006), he’s undeniably memorable.  Can’t wait for the first trailer to drop.  Where are you marketing?

Check out the full picks down below:

12YearsaSlave_BenedictCumberbatch 12YearsaSlave_DwightHenry 12YearsaSlave_Fassbender 12YearsaSlave_SarahPaulson 12YearsaSlave_Fassbender_Chiwetel ChiwetelEjifor_12YearsaSlave