MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Bill Pohlad said he had been working on a film called “Tree of Life” with Brad Pitt, when he was asked if he’d be interested in working on a project on slavery.
“We just got in when they were working on the script.” Pohlad said to WCCO Radio’s Dave Lee.READ MORE: New Poll Shows Minneapolis Residents Support Charter Amendment Replacing Police
Pohlad’s production company, River Road, co-financed the project.
The film is based on the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man in the pre-Civil War United States who was abducted from upstate New York and sold into slavery.
“12 Years a Slave” is directed by Steve McQueen.
There was originally a book, which was written by Northrup, right after he was freed.READ MORE: Minnesota Apple Orchards Endure Labor Shortage During Peak Season
It was a popular book at the time, but came out just a year before “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
“And it was kind of swallowed up in history by that,” Pohlad said.