Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in Steve McQueen's new film. Courtesy Fox Searchlight.

Artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen will release his third feature film, 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight), this fall, featuring stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano and Alfre Woodard, among others.

Based on Solomon Northup's 1853 autobiography, the film tells the story of a free-born black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in pre-Civil War America. Ejiofor plays the title role, with Fassbender in the role of a slave owner, Pitt a Canadian abolitionist, Cumberbatch a Baptist preacher and Paulson the slave owner's wife; Wallis plays Solomon's daughter. Fassbender has starred in both McQueen's previous feature films, Hunger (2008) and Shame (2011).

In addition to being an acclaimed filmmaker, McQueen is still a practicing studio artist. The exhibition "Steve McQueen," co-organized by The Art Institute of Chicago and the Schaulager, Basel, is currently at the Schaulager (through Sept. 1).