Will Michael Fassbender & Benedict Cumberbatch be major Oscar contenders?

A few weeks ago, I covered the first production stills from Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, a film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt and more. Brad is a producer on the film too. The film is already being shown for test screenings, and while audiences have been saying that it’s depressing and intense, they also say it’s really, really good and that it should be up for some awards. Which is awesome! The studio listened to the test audiences and they’ve decided to push up the release date… sort of. The film was going to have a limited release in late December, which is the “standard” time frame for last-minute Oscar-contenders. But the awards season has changed so much in the past few years especially, and more and more the “Oscar-bait” films are released in October or November, so that audiences really get a chance to see them. And now that’s happening with 12 Years a Slave:

The release date chess game of the Oscar-bait autumn films continues. After some exuberant test screenings, Fox Searchlight is moving the Steve McQueen-directed Twelve Years A Slave to a limited platform release that will begin October 18.

The original plan for the film backed by New Regency and River Road was to start the limited platform release in late December. They felt it could thrive in the fall, instead of waiting for winter. With a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Brad Pitt, the film is based on the true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom in the pre-Civil War America.

Ejoifor plays Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery. He faces cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner played by Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindness. In the 12th year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Pitt) forever alters his life. The film also stars Beast Of The Southern Wild‘s Quvenzhané Wallis, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti, and Lupita Nyong’o.

John Ridley adapted Northrup’s memoir. Pitt and his Plan B World War Z cohorts DeDe Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner produced with McQueen, Bill Pohlad, Arnon Milchan, and Anthony Katagas.

[From Deadline]

I have a very good feeling about this. I mean, I’m not sure if anyone from the film will win an Oscar or anything, but I have a good feeling about seeing lots and lots of Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender for this next awards season. Do you remember how depressed I was the last awards season? I really didn’t have any of “my dudes” up for anything. But an awards season full of Fassy and Cumby? It’s CHRISTMAS.

Incidentally, this isn’t even the only Oscar-bait film for Cumby! 2013 is The Year of Cumberbatch. He’s got The Fifth Estate (possible Best Actor nominations), August: Osage County (excellent ensemble), plus The Hobbit sequel AND he’ll be up for awards for the new season of Sherlock, I’m sure. SO MUCH CUMBY. Let the campaigning commence!! There are babies to kiss, right?

As for Fassy… well, 12 Years is probably his only chance for the awards this year. He’s got The Counselor coming out in October, but I doubt that will be a contender (although who knows, really). Speaking of The Counselor… here are some new production stills!

Photos courtesy of The Counselor, 12 Years a Slave.

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56 Responses to “Will Michael Fassbender & Benedict Cumberbatch be major Oscar contenders?”

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  1. emmaV1 says:

    People said the same thing that Fassbender would be nominated for A Dangerous Method but it didnt happen so I wouldn’t hold my breath for this either.

  2. T.Fanty says:

    Didn’t they push up the release date for the Fifth Estate, too?

    And hooray for lots of Cumby premieres. That means many pics of Cumby looking hot in suits.

    • Fangirl says:

      @T.Fanty , yes hoorray hoorray , the Cumby will come out and play ! with all the movie premieres it will be a fangirls dream !! Im sooo envious of all of you over in the US and UK who get to have these amazing film premieres and screenings…im here in Africa , so so so so far away from Cumby and the Fassy – its positively dreadful… can u hear my crying all the way from here ???? I must admit , it is the year of the Cumberbatch …..

  3. s says:

    the photo of cumby with a baby made me feel all funny.

    • EscapedConvent says:

      That photo of Cumby with a baby set off a mini-bomb of “Awwww…” around here when we first saw it.

      Then very soon after, there was a second Cumby-baby pic when another one of his friends had a baby, & we went completely berserk at that.


  4. GiGi says:

    I’m so excited for this film! (And, of course, for lots and lots of the boys promoting it around!)

    I am obsessed with Steve McQueen’s films – they are just really perfect. Can’t wait!

  5. Elodie says:

    No offense to both Cumberbatch and Fassbender, I’ll be very happy if both films get nods (albeit I’m a bit meh-biased on the Counselor) but I’d be major pissed if both actors get recognition and Chiwetel doesn’t or say gets overshadowed. Sorry but the man is more talented than any of them.

  6. marie says:

    Meh, I don’t care about either but I love to watch the CB ladies argue..

  7. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I feel sorry for Cumberbatch being talked about in the same post as Fassbender–it’s just not fair to put The Lizard King up against up against The Sexy Fassmagic.

    That being said, I’m happy for my Cumberbitches. Looks like they’ll be getting a lot of Cumberdong to look at this year.

  8. Lillith says:

    Its blasphemy to place Fassbender in the same category as that shorts-plus-scarf wearing alien. We know what you are doing Cumberpeople; you are hoping if sustain your crazy talk long enough, the world will start to believe it. Not. Working.

    Also it would be great if Lupita Nyongo started getting more buzz. I understand that not only is she super talented but is an Out lesbian in her home country of Kenya and that she works closely with their version of Glaad. All of which is made even more remarkable by the fact that her dad is a prominent politician with a big rural following. Team Fassy, Chewitel and Lupita here.

  9. Lucretia says:

    The Fassbender-McQueen collaboration is of long-standing, and doesn’t deserve the dismissive tone of Elodie and others above. McQueen was recently invited to join AMPAS on the basis of Hunger and Shame–both of which starred Fassbender, and both of which were shamefully overlooked by the Academy. I for one will be really angry if Fassbender is overlooked for awards contention for this film, because the advance screening suggested that both he and Ejiofor are terrific.
    I suspect Cumberbatch will not be in contention for Twelve Years, because his role is not particularly striking in the film; I don’t know about August, where the role also seems rather small. I suspect his best bet is The Fifth Estate. I also have some hope for Fassbender and others in The Counselor.

  10. Bet says:

    Cumberbatch only has a small role in August Osage County. Early reports say he did very well with it and does a great southern accent. Women will like it as he’s cute and cuddly in it and even sings/plays the piano (badly but thats because of the character he plays).

    Again his role is very small in 12 Years a Slave so not an oscar contender. Fassbender will be for the film as its a big showy unsubtle scenery chewing performance. Just perfect for oscar bait.

    Laura Linney says Cumberbatch’s transformation as Julian Assange in the Fifth Estate is extraordinary. She’s seen a lot of footage as she’s a friend of the director so as I respect her judgement I’m sure he’ll be amazing. However this film hasnt got much of a PR budget so there isnt a hope in hell of an oscar campaign. However Hollywood bigwigs will take note.

    I dont expect Cumberbatch to get any nominations this year. Its all about consolidating his reputation. In the same way that Fassbender did a few years ago when he gave good performances but wasnt nominated.

    I loved hearing Guillermo Del Toro gushing over Cumberbatch’s cheekbones in the round table for Pacific Rim. He started talking about Cumberbatch and Chastain in Crimson Peak and seems very enamored with them. Seems a big fanboy.

  11. Lemony says:

    I am really looking forward to this film. Very talented cast!

  12. LaLa2 says:

    Um how about an Oscar nom for Chiwetel Ejiofor (who really deserves some recognition by now.) I like Fassbender and Cumberbatch, but this film is going to focus on Chiwetel and I can’t wait for him to deliver.

  13. Ad says:

    People saying its wrong to put cumberbatch and fassbender in the same sentence because of looks?? I thought it was about talent. But this is celebitchy so I guess I should expect shallow comments like that on this site.

    P.S. fassbender is not THAT goodlooking. Have ppl seen this mans American cheese colored teeth???

    • Yolanda says:

      @Ad omfg that last sentence about fassy teeth just made me spill my coffee lmfaooooo

    • mary says:

      Cumberbatch is 100000 hotter than Fassbender. He’s unique and truly beautiful, has a fantastic body. Also he’s 10000000 more popular. He also plays the better roles. Critics love him, too. Fassbender fans should stop lying to themselves.

    • BeesKness says:

      I like both of them as actors. Most of my favorite male actors are not male model looking hotties though. Cumberbatch looks like and alien and has pointy teeth and Fassbender has butter teeth and looks a bit worn out these days, but I like both of them as actors. I do hope that Chiwetel Ejiofor gets the recognition he deserves, I love him!

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      @ Ad-LOL! Let’s get MAD about it!

      Puhleeze, it’s celeb gossip-people come here to ogle the talent. If you’re looking for deep insight, go geek out on one of the movie forums.

      I like how you got all angry for people talking about these actors’ looks then you just had to add that comment about Fassy’s teeth. Shallow indeed ;)

  14. drea says:

    Can’t wait to see Brad, Fassy, Cumby, and Chiwetel (I love him, do we have a nickname for him yet?) all together, plus Giamatti and Sarah Poulson. The supporting cast is really impressive too–Ms. Woodard, Bryan Batt, Garret Dillahunt, baby Q, etc. They must have spent quite a bit on the cast. This movie’s going to be pushed hard for Oscar noms.

  15. matty says:

    I would love to play in fassys mount doom crack of doom if ya knows what I’s mean ;-)

  16. Lindy79 says:

    Cannot wait for this. It will be tough going as are all of McQueens films. I love pretty much all of the cast and agree about Chiwetel, he is amazing and it would be great to see that recognised. Plus even if tthey’re not nominated, we’ll get to see Fassbender and Cumberbatch all suited up on the red carpet. They both did the awards circuit for movies they were in but weren’t nominated for.
    Wins all around!

  17. EscapedConvent says:

    Is there a fight brewing? A CumberBrawl and/or FassyFight?

    Sigh….I’m not prepared. I was just going to make some blueberry lemonade this afternoon, not put on battle dress. It’s too humid to wear chain mail today!

    Waaaah!! ……(wailing)

    All right, I’ll make a bigger pitcher of blueberry lemonade if y’all are having a skirmish.

  18. Samantha says:

    Fassy any day be it Oscar nom or pseudo lover for that matter.

  19. Leah says:

    It annoys me that this is the second post this site has made about this film. And each time you focus on cumberbatch and fassbender when ejiofor is the lead. Ejiofor is probably a more talented actor than both of them and deserves more respect and attention on this site.

  20. VioletCrumble says:

    I don’t know who this Cumberbatch personage is -I don’t watch movies at all and only very little TV; I come on here to bitch. Yep..- but he is the spitting image of my daughter’s boyfriend. Very nice.

  21. Arslan Baig says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch & Chiwetel Ejiofor are more talented actors than Michael Fassbender? This has to be the jokiest joke. Let me make something clear! Michael Fassbender has more talent in his pinky toes than Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor has in their entire bodies. These Cumberbatchs & Ejiofors can never even become 25% of the mighty Fassbender. Fassbender’s act in SHAME can never be topped by any actor. Not at all.