*Favorable early test screenings of “Twelve Years A Slave” have encouraged studio heads to push the release date from late December to October 18, reports Deadline.com.

The Steve McQueen-directed film – starring Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt – is based on the true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom in the pre-Civil War America.

Ejiofor 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’s production studios New Regency and River Road originally felt the film could thrive with a fall release instead of waiting for winter.

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.