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Phoenix Mercury

Updated Jul 16, 2013 - 12:20 pm

Watch the first trailer for '12 Years a Slave'

The first trailer for "12 Years a Slave," directed by Steve McQueen, was released by Fox Searchlight on Monday.

The film follows the true story of Solomon Northup, an African-American living in New York who was drugged, kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. He was then freed 12 years later.

British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor plays the lead role of Northup, along with Brad Pitt as an abolitionist who lends a hand to Northup.

The star-studded cast also includes Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti and Paul Dano, whose roles can help push the film into Oscar territory.

"12 Years a Slave" is slated to release in theaters Oct. 18.

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