Cast Update: Harriet Tubman Biopic

We have great news about the Focus Feature Harriet Tubman biopic (source). Not only has the cast been fleshed out, but we also know that production for the film has been set. Focus Features and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide.

The film will chronicle the life of heroic abolitionist and spy Harriet Tubman. 

The cast includes Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) as Tubman. Fellow Tony Award®-winner and Grammy Award®-winner Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton, Murder on the Orient Express), Joe Alwyn (Boy Erased, The Favourite, Mary Queen of Scots), Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) round out the cast. 

The amazing director Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) will be directing the screenplay that she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard (Ali, Remember the Titans). They’re joined by cinematographer John Toll and costume designer Paul Tazewell. Josh McLaughlin, Focus Features president of production, will oversee the production. 

Filming will begin this October in Virginia.

Producers Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg said, "This is the story of a seemingly powerless woman who accomplished the extraordinary to save her loved ones, and in the process became a leader of and inspiration for her people. While Harriet Tubman is a household name, most people don’t know the breadth of her story - not only was she a conductor on the Underground Railroad, but she was a spy for the Union army and remains one of the few women to have led an armed expedition in US history.

Focus chairman Peter Kujawski stated that, "Tubman’s courageous life and the scope of her bravery is truly made to be told on the big screen. The countless lives she saved, during a time of such hatred and danger to herself, can be described only as heroic. “We’re thrilled to be working with this incredibly talented group of filmmakers led by Kasi, Debra, Daniela, and Greg and this multi-talented group of actors in bringing Tubman’s life to film.”

There is also another Harriet Tubman project in the works at HBO. The HBO project will feature Viola Davis and is being written by Kirk Ellis (John Adams, Into the West, Anne Frank). 


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