Bill Pohlad-produced '12 Years a Slave' gets earlier release date


Oscar-nominated producer Bill Pohlad's next film is getting released two months earlier than expected, Deadline Hollywood reports.

Fox-Searchlight's "12 Years a Slave," originally set for a Dec. 25 release, will now be released in select markets Oct. 18 and expand to other markets thereafter.

Pohlad's production company, River Road, is co-financing the project.

The film is based on the incredible true story of Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man in the pre-Civil War United States who was abducted from upstate New York and sold into slavery. The film also stars Michael Fassbender as an malevolent slave owner and Brad Pitt as a Canadian abolitionist who forever changes Solomon's life.

Pitt previously worked with Pohlad, on "The Tree of Life," which earned the Minnesota filmmaker a Best Picture Oscar nomination in 2012 as one of the movie's producers.

Pitt is joining Pohlad as one of the producers of "12 Years a Slave," which is being directed by Steve McQueen ("Shame").

Pohlad, meanwhile, has begun his duties as director of "Love & Mercy: The Lives, Times and Music of Brian Wilson," a biopic about the legendary Beach Boys singer-songwriter. It is the first time Pohlad has directed a film since "Old Explorers" in 1990.

Variety reports that filming began this week. Paul Dano will play the younger version of the musical icon, while John Cusack is playing Wilson in his later years.

One of the sons of former Twins owner Carl Pohlad, Bill Pohlad has also produced such films as "Brokeback Mountain," "Into the Wild" and "A Prairie Home Companion" -- which was filmed on location at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.

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