The previously reported Cynthia Erivo-led film Harriet will begin production in October, Focus Features has announced. The movie will tell the story of famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who helped hundreds escape slavery via the Underground Railroad.
Erivo, who stars as Tubman, will be joined by Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters.
Harriet is directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) with a screenplay co-written by Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard.
Debra Martin Chase (The Princess Diaries, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) with Martin Chase Productions, Daniela Taplin Lundberg (Beasts of No Nation, The Kids are All Right) with Stay Gold Features, and Gregory Allen Howard will produce.
"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,” said producers Chase and Lundberg in a statement. “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.”
Erivo will soon be seen on the big screen in the the new Steve McQueen drama Widows. Set in modern-day Chicago, the film follows four women who, left with a debt after their dead husbands’ criminal activities, band together to pull off a major heist. The new film features a screenplay by Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn and a cast that also includes Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Bryan Tyree Henry, Carrie Coon, André Holland, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, and Daniel Kaluuya.
Watch the trailer for Widows, out November 16, below.