12 Years a Slave

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FO R Y OUR CO NSID ERA TI O N BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Screenplay by John Ridley BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Screenplay by John Ridley ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. © 2012 REGENCY ENTERTAINMENT (USA), INC. AND BASS FILMS, LLC IN THE U.S. ONLY. © 2012 MONARCHY ENTERPRISES S.A.R.L. AND BASS FILMS, LLC IN ALL OTHER TERRITORIES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED, REPRODUCED, SOLD OR DISTRIBUTED BY ANY MEANS, OR QUOTED OR PUBLISHED IN ANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING ANY WEB SITE, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF 2012 REGENCY ENTERTAINMENT (USA), INC. AND BASS FILMS, LLC. DISPOSAL OF THIS SCRIPT COPY DOES NOT ALTER ANY OF THE RESTRICTIONS SET FORTH ABOVE. CARD: 1841 FADE IN: 1 INT. TOWNHOUSE/STUDY - DAY 1 -EARLY APRIL, 1841- We are close on a PAIR OF BLACK HANDS as they open A FINELY WRAPPED PACKET OF VIOLIN STRINGS. WE CUT TO the hands stringing a VIOLIN. It's not a high end piece, but it is quite nice. WE CUT TO a wide shot of the study. Sitting in a chair with violin in hand is SOLOMON NORTHUP; a man in his late twenties. Everything about Solomon, his mien and manner, is distinguished. But he, too, seems a hardy individual. Someone who has known manual labor in his time. Solomon begins to lightly play his violin, as if testing the strings, their tuning. Satisfied, Solomon begins to play vigorously. As he does, we make a HARD CUT TO: 2 INT. HOUSE/LIVING ROOM - EVENING 2 We come in on a lively affair.
Published : Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Reading/s : 116
Number of pages: 146
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F O R Y O U R C O N S I D E R A T I O N

BEST A

DAPTED SCREENPLAY
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.«120 CYENNT EEGRSU)ATN( NIEMREATASS ND BC. A, IN NI CLL ,SMLIF
THE U.S .ONLY120 PRETESIR.S S.R.AONMCHARENY ,SL CLI NLA LTOL. AND BASS FILMR HE«.
TERRITORIES D,FREPEMROYAM EB IR LLASER STHG.T IH NFOIRTP SCSD. NERVERTIOO PO
PUBLISHED, REPRODUCED ,SOLD OR DISTRIBUTED BY ANY MEANS ,OR QUOTED OR PUBLISHED
IN ANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING ANY WEB SITE, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF 210
REGENCY ENTERTAINMENT (USA), INC .AND BASS FILMS, LLC .SPDILASO FO SIHTRCS OCYPPI T
DOES NOT ALTER ANY OF THE RESTRICTIONS SET FORTH ABOVE.

FADE I“:

I“T .T”W“H”US/ESTUDY DA- Y

-EARPA YLR4,8-L11I

We are close on a ’AIR ” FLBCAK HA“DS as they open A
FI“ELY WAR’’ DE’CAKET ” FVI”LI“ STRI“GS.

WE CUT T” the hands stringing a VI”LI“. It's not a high
end piece, but it is quite nice.

WEC UT T” a wide shot of the study .Sitting in a chair
with violini n hand is S”L”M”“ “”RTHU’ ;am ani n his late
twenties . Everything about Solomon ,hism ien and manner,
is distinguished. But he, too, seems a hardyi ndividual .
Someone who has knownm anual labori n his time.
Solomon begins to lightly play his violin ,asi f testing
the strings, their tuning . Satisfied ,Solomon begins to
play vigorously. As he does, we make a HDRCA UT T” :

I“T. H”USLE/IVI“GR ””E M -VE“I“G

We come in on a lively affairA .dinner partyi s being
thrown within the confines of a fairly stately house .In
attendance areE IGHT C”U’ELS A.ll are WHITE and all are
AFILRY Y”U“Gi ,n their early twenties. The men and women
are dressedi n very fine attire .We should get the sense
that for the most part they are people of means.

Thefurniture has been set aside in the living roo A.mt
them f a ehd nit gno naice ars led gegaen tnemopuoc eht
R

The music they are dancing to is being played by Solomon,
having cut directly from the tune he was previously
playing . He plays with a light determination ,and in no
way seems possessed with empty servitude.

Solomon concludes the reel, and the dancers brea iknto
enthusiastic applause, which is followed by personal
thanks and congratulations from all .It should be clear
that despite their respective races there ism uch
admiration and appreciation for Solomon's abilities.

I“T .“”RTHU’ H”USDEREB/””M- M”R“I“G

It is a Saturdaym orning C. ladi n her finest attirei s
A““E; Solomon's wife, a few years younger than he .We
see also the “orthup children: MARGARET whoi s eight, and
AL”“Z” whoi s five .They are handsome, and well groomed
kidsA .nne straightens up the children. She finishes,

(C”“TI“UED)

F 4/3 1 1 /2I“ LASH””TI“G SRCI’T
C”“TI“UE:D

she rises up and standsbehind them ,almost as if
preparing to pose for a rortia.t p

They all wait a moment, then Solomon enters the foyer .
He stands and looks admiringly at his faimlyA MD .IRI“GLY
stressed. Iti sn't that he doesn't have love for them,
he does as s s hirtluh eimer ydaint he tom mt,enw.lleuB
greatest accomplishment :a faimly that is healthy and
well and provided for. He goesto his children, and
hands each a coin ,then ot seog s heGivee. Ann ikss r a
on the chee .kThe children giggle at ehs gith.t

EXT .STREET - DAY

Solomon and his faimly are out walking along the streets
and groves of Saratoga.

The streets are well populated thism orning withm any
people out strollingM .ost are WHIT E,but there are
CALBKS as well. They areED BLAC FREKS whoim ngle fairly
easily - though not always completely - with the whites.
We see, too ,a fewLAC BK SLAVES who travel with their
WHITE MASTERS. These pairings are largely from the south
and -despite the fact the blacks are slaves- they are
not yehTera tnord wo ,onddneeld t fis. handphlyalicys
well dressed and" leading apparently an easy life" -
comparatively speaking - as they trail theirm asters.

As they walk, Solomon and his faimly arrive to an
intersection well-worn andm uddied from horse and cart
traffic. Solomon and his children easily jump across the
mucA k .nne stands at the lip of the puddle ,calls for
Solomon to help her across.

Solomon...

A““E

Solomon, turning bac kto his wife with a broad simle
waving her forward:

Come A,nneJ .ump.

S”L”M”“

The children, now smiling as well ,egg theirm other on.

AL”“Z”
Jump .You can makei t.

A““E
I will not ruinm y dress . Catch
me!

ARMGAERT
I've donei t. You can make
it.

Solomon moves close, holds out his arms .Yet, there's
stilljust a bit of mischievousnessi n his eyes A. nne
gives hehgil a dnabsuh rn look ttly steroSolom n ohwci h
replies.

C(”“TI“UED)

F / 431 I1 2/“AL SH””TI“G SRCI’T
C”“TI“UD:E

S”L”M”“
I will catch you A,nne.
(beat)
I will.

Again, lightly stern:

You will.

A““E

And with thatA nne takes the leap . Solomon catches her,
swings her around grandlyandsets her down lightly to
the delighted applause of the cone, hTtad ihdler.n
Solomon takesA nne's hand and leads her on.

As Solomon and his family make their way, among the
slaves on the street, we see onei n particularJA; S’ . ER
As he trails hisAM ST ERhe can't help but note Solomon
and his faimly as they enter A ST” .ERHisi ntrigue of
thism ost handsome and harmonious group should be
obvious .

With his Master occupied,J asper moves slyly toward the
ST”F .ERrozen on the spot, Jasper looks on adimringly.
Suddenly a voice barks out-

I“T .ST”AL E -RTRE

Jasper C!ome on!

AV”I( EC”.S).

We are inside the store ofCE. RM ’HAS ’ARKR;E a whitem an
and a supplier of general goods . Solomon greets him
with:

Mr .’arker.

S”L”M”“

’RAKER
Mr .“orthup. Mrs .“orthup.

With money in hand the “orthup childrenm ove quickly
about the store looking for items to purchase.

(C”“TI“UED)

F 3 I21 // 14 “AL SH””TI“G SCRI’T
C”“TI“U:DE

Anne looks over some silks and fabrics .’arker suggests
to Solomon:

’ARK(CR E”“T’D)
Anew cravat ,Solomon? ’ure sil k
by way of theF rench.

S”L”M”“
We arei n need ofa fresh carry
all for the Mrs's travels.
’ARKRE
Ayear's passed? ”ff to Sandy
Hill?

I a.m

A““E

Using a long pole ,Mr. ’arker fetches down aR RACYL LA
fro man upper shelf.

’RAKER
Something to suit your style, but
sturdy enough for the forty miles
round trip.

Handing the Bag toA nne ,shei si mmediately taken by it.

A““E
It's beautiful.

S”L”M”“
(cautiously)
At what price?

A““E
We will take it. Children, come
see what your father has just
purchased form e.

As the children run over - chattering excitedly about the
new gift - they RU“ ’AST JAS’RE who has quietly entered
the store.

At the checkout counter sits a portrait of WILLIMAHE“RY
HARRIS”“, the edges drapedi n black crepeB .efore the
book sits aL DEGME.R r .’arker asks of Solomon:

’RAKER
If you would sign our condolence
boo M. ky hope is to find a way to
forwardi t to the Widow Harrison.
Sad days for the nation.

S”L”M”“
Yes ,certanly .’oorM rs .Harris
and her chiteglhr brihope. I dren
times ahead.

C(”“TI“U)DE

F 31//14 2 I“AL SH””TI“G SRCI’T
C”“TI“U(E ):2D

Jasper looks scared, tmiid . It's as though he'd lkie to
engage ,buti s unsure of as to how. “otingJ asper ,’arker
says :

’ARKRE
m Aoment ,sir ,and you will be
assisted.

S”L”M”“
If we could discuss the price...

C(”“TI“UED)

4/13 FI2 / 1 “ LASH””TI“G SRCI’T
C”“TI“U( )3E:D

’RAKRE
Forgive me, Mrs .“orthup. A
customer waits . Welcome ,sir.

ToJ asper, with good nature:

S”L”M”“
Shop well ,butim nd your wallet.
’RAKER
Ignore the gentleman's nonsense .
“owm ,ay Ii nterest you in a new
cravat ? ’ure silk by way of the--

Before ’arker can finish, the door opens. It'sJ asper's
MasterF, ITZGD L .EARHe's stern ,clearly displeased.

FITZGDALRE
Jasper!
(to ’arker)
My regrets for thei ntrusion.

“o intrusion.

S”L”M”“

Fitzgerald looks to Solomon .Iti s a cold glare as
though he wasn't speaking to ,and has no interest in a
response fro ma blacmk an .Looking back to ’arker:

Good day ,sir

FITZGERALD

I“T. “”RTHU’ H”USD/EI“I“GR ”” E -MVE“I“G

Annebusy in theki tchen ,puts the final touches to the
eal, hci sujwih to begist abouteh olomn. Sin ton,
ming from a at eht fdaer elbtht ats oadhee aewn ,isihel
“EWS’A’RE . He reads to his children solemn news of the
funeral arrangements for the recently deceased ’resident
Harrison.

S”L”M”“
"Thus has passed away fro mearth
our late ’resident."

Solomon starts from the top of the article.

S”L”M”“ C(”“T’)D
D"uring them orning, fro msunrise ,
the heavy bells had been pealing
forth their slow and solemn toll
while them inute guns announced
that soon the grave would receive
its trust . ”ur city as well as
our entire nation has beencalled
to weep over the fall of a great
and good man .”ne who wasbythe
wishes of a largem ajority of our
(”RE)

(C”“TI“U)DE

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