I’m starting to suspect Steve McQueen watches the same TV we do. The British director of Hunger and Shame has already cast Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch, Saturday Night Live‘s Taran Killam, and Raising Hope‘s Garret Dillahunt in his upcoming Twelve Years a Slave, and he’s now added another small-screen favorite. Michael K. Williams, a.k.a. Omar Little on The Wire, has just boarded the cast, which also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt. More details after the jump.

UPDATE: A few hours after this post went up, it was announced that Beasts of the Southern Wild star Dwight Henry had also joined Twelve Years a Slave.

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Those who’ve been locked into the first two seasons of Sherlock are likely well-established members of the cult of Benedict Cumberbatch at this point. The actor has an unusual combination of humor, intelligence, and physicality that makes him ideal for Sherlock Holmes, and that appeal is starting to expand into more feature roles. Cumberbatch has a couple big pictures coming up in the next two years, as he’s playing a crucial role in The Hobbit, and he’s the villain the new Star Trek film.

Now, perhaps most exciting, Cumberbatch has been cast in Twelve Years a Slave, which is the third teaming of director Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame) and actor Michael Fassbender. Read More »

Every year at award season, The Hollywood Reporter somehow organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Director’s Roundtable, they’ve brought together The Descendants‘ Alexander Payne, Beginners‘ Mike Mills, Shame‘s Steve McQueen, Young Adult‘s Jason Reitman, Moneyball‘s Bennett Miller and The Artist‘s Michel Hazanavicius to discuss their own, and each other’s, movies, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »

‘Shame’ Red-Band Trailer: Sex and the Subway

Shame, the new collaboration between Hunger director Steve McQueen and star Michael Fassbender, is about to open in limited release this weekend after months of built-up interest following the film’s festival debut. The picture quickly earned a certain notoriety for explicit sexual content, with an NC-17 rating handed down from the MPAA.But Fox Searchlight didn’t run from the rating. Instead, the studio embraced the tag and is using Shame as sort of a small rallying cry for the acceptance of truly mature entertainment.

Now, just before the public at large gets a chance to see the movie, Fox Searchlight has released a red-band trailer for Shame. You might expect something wildly explicit given the film’s rating and reputation. But this is actually quite a well-done trailer that suggests a lot more than it shows. (There is some sex and nudity, yes.)

Hit the break for a sexually-charged train ride that is like the bastard son of ideas from Alfred Hitchcock and Darren Aronofsky. Read More »

Steve McQueen‘s sex addiction drama Shame may be getting tons of attention for its too-hot-for-the-MPAA explicitness, but having just seen the film I can attest that in truth, it’s less sexy than it is emotionally devastating. And it’s that pain that comes across most in this brand-new U.S. trailer for the film, which sees Carey Mulligan singing what may just be the loneliest version of “New York, New York” ever recorded as Michael Fassbender has lots of sad, soulless sex. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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‘Shame’ US Trailer

Here’s the US trailer for Steve McQueen‘s film Shame, in which Michael Fassbender stars as a man who can’t control his sex drive and Carey Mulligan appears as his sister.The film was a big hit at festivals throughout 2011, and has drawn attention for its raw and explicit depiction of sex and sex addiction.

This is essentially the same thing as the UK trailer we saw not long ago, but for the sake of enthusiasm we’ll push this US version on you, too. Strangely, there is no big notice of the fact that the film earned an NC-17 rating, which is a tag that distributor Fox Searchlight reportedly plans to embrace rather than avoid. Read More »

‘Shame’ Officially Gets NC-17 Rating

We knew this was likely to happen, and now the MPAA has spoken: Steve McQueen‘s Shame, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, has earned the film industry’s most dubious badge of honor, the NC-17. The rating was delivered for “some explicit sexual content,” designating that no one under 17 is to be admitted under any circumstances. In years past this might have doomed the film as a commercial failure or led to recuts, but things are a bit different with Shame. Read More »

Here’s an update to the developing news on Steve McQueen‘s third film, Twelve Years a Slave, that is pretty minor in terms of word count, but potentially huge for the movie. We know that Chiwetel Ejiofor will play Solomon Northrup, a free black man kidnapped in Washington in 1841 and made to serve as a slave for over a decade. Michael Fassbender, who featured in McQueen’s last two films, Hunger and Shame, will also play a role.

Brad Pitt‘s company Plan B is producing the film, and now the actor will take a role in the movie, too. Read More »

When a film gets branded with an NC-17 rating, most studios do one of four things. They re-cut it hoping to get an R-rating, release it unrated, doom it direct-to-DVD or suck it up and go for it.

That last option is a rarity because embracing the NC-17 rating means fighting an unfair, almost pornographic, connotation. The MPAA website itself explicitly states “NC-17 does not mean ‘obscene’ or ‘pornographic’ in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. The rating simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience.” But that doesn’t stop major theater chains from not playing the movies, major video distributors from not stocking the movies or TV channels from not advertising the movies. It’s a huge mountain to climb.

Fox Searchlight’s new film Shame, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, is so filled with sex and nudity, it’s all but guaranteed to receive an NC-17. And that’s okay. Not only will Fox Searchlight embrace this, they’re going to push the film for awards. They’re making a stand against the negative stigma. Read more about their marketing strategy after the jump. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

We’ve been hearing so much about Steve McQueen‘s Shame over the past year — we’ve seen clips, posters, and stills; we’ve heard all about the film’s very graphic nature and the searing performances by leads Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan — that I almost forgot we had yet to see an actual trailer.

The first one has finally dropped today, and while it’s obviously impossible to tell whether a movie is good just by seeing a two-minute video, the trailer, at least, looks utterly compelling. Watch the video (which, unlike the movie, is SFW) after the jump.

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