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Steve McQueen developing BBC drama on lives of black Britons

12 Years A Slave

Story by Jack Foley

OSCAR tipped director Steve McQueen – currently riding high off the success of his critically-acclaimed 12 Years A Slave – has revealed that he is working on a BBC drama focusing on the lives of black Britons.

Having recently accused America and Hollywood of ignoring slavery, the filmmaker has now told the Daily Mail: “I don’t think there has been a serious drama series in Britain with black people from all walks of life as the main protagonists.”

Describing the drama as “epic in scope”, he said it would follow the lives of a group of friends and their families from 1968 to 2014.

The project would be developed with the BBC over the next year with a writer and a group of actors. It will also be set in London. But he stressed that it was still very much in its infancy.

In response to the article, the BBC has also since confirmed that it is working with McQueen as well as Rainmark Films on the project, but would not give any further information.

BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson said: “It is too early to announce the details but it is incredibly exciting to be working with the hugely talented British director who has rapidly become one of the finest directors in the world.”

In addition to his Oscar buzz, McQueen has also been shortlisted for a best director BAFTA for 12 Years A Slave and is also seen as a front-runner to land a Golden Globe on Sunday.

His other film work includes 2006’s Hunger about the Northern Irish hunger strikers, followed by 2011 sex addiction film Shame.

Related: Read our interview with Steve McQueen on 12 Years A Slave

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