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« Queer TIFF: "Bulbul Can Sing" and "Giant Little Ones" | Main | A Prayer For Alessandro »
Friday
Sep142018

Cynthia Erivo will play Harriet Tubman

by Murtada Elfadl

Cynthia Erivo who made waves this week at TIFF as one quarter of Widows has announced her next project. She will play iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in Harriet. The film will follow Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free many slaves through the Underground Railroad in pre-Civil War America. More exciting is that Harriet will be directed by Kasi Lemmons of Eve’s Bayou (1997), a film we adore. This will be Lemmons' first film since Black Nativity (2013), in the past few years she’s been directing episodes of TV shows like Luke Cage and Shots Fired.

Joining Erivo in the cast are Leslie Odom Jr.,  Joe Alwyn ( who’s very busy this fall with parts in Boy Erased, The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots), Clarke Peters (Detective Freamon in The Wire) and surprisingly country music singer Jennifer Nettles.

Erivo and Odom alongside fellow Tony winners Daveed Diggs and Renée Elise Goldsberry

Erivo and Odom have a special awards connection. They won Tonys on the same night in 2017 as best actress and actor in a musical. Odom for his role as Aaron Burr in Hamilton and Erivo as Celie, the lead of The Color Purple. That was also the night Erivo became a star when she brought the house down signing Celie’s rousing climactic anthem “I’m Here” during the awards telecast.

There was another Tubman project being developed by Erivo’s Widows colleague, Viola Davis. No word yet if that project is still on the docket. We hope so. There is space for two Tubman movies in a world that finds time and money for endless British royals and American presidents’ bio-pics.

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Reader Comments (6)

Why oh why don't biopics come up with more creative titles? Seriously, every time it's either the subject's first or last name or both.

Example: Steve Jobs could have been titled "Apple of My Eye"

September 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTr

I am so glad she is on her way to become a movie star with two high profile gigs this year alone!

September 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSTFU

Loved her until the Great Comet debacle. Ugh.

September 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

a) Still love her, but The Great Comet debacle definitely was a disappointment.

b) Glad she's getting a major role.

September 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

She is so unbelievably talented!!

September 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Davis' Tumban project I believe is for TV.

September 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

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