Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo has been tapped to star in an upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic. Seith Mann will direct the film, which will feature a screenplay by Gregory Allen Howard, according to Deadline.
The film, titled Harriet, will explore the life of the famed black abolitionist and humanitarian who escaped slavery in the South, became a spy for the Union and paved the way for several others to be freed through the Underground Railroad.
The extraordinary life and contribution of the icon Harriet Tubman does not need an introduction on this platform. Tubman escaped slavery in the south during the 1800’s and returned countless times to rescue both family members and non-relatives from plantations in the south. She led hundreds of African Americans to freedom by traveling 90 miles to the North and made history as one of the main “conductors” of the Underground Railroad, an elaborate secret network of safe houses organized for that purpose. She was an abolitionist, an activist, and an advocate for racial and gender equality.
“I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” – Harriet Tubman
Tubman has played a major part in the evolution of our history; however, her story has not yet been depicted on the big screen. Last year, Emmy Award winning actress Viola Davis announced that she would be developing an HBO telepic about Tubman’s life with Amblin TV and writer Kirk Ellis who is known for writing historical HBO original films such as the John Adams miniseries. The feature will be an adaptation of the book Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero by Kate Clifford Larson.
Erivo received a Tony last year for her Broadway debut as Celie in The Color Purple, having first taken on the role at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory. Her additional stage credits include I Can’t Sing! and Sister Act in the U.K. She is also set to star opposite Viola Davis and Jitney’s André Holland in the Steve McQueen-helmed film Widows. This is very exciting news and we can’t wait for more details about the film to unfold!