British actress Cynthia Erivo tapped to play Harriet Tubman

Focus Features have tapped Afro-British actress Cynthia Erivo to play Harriet Tubman in the upcoming movie about the abolitionist’s life. Erivo, whose parents hail from Nigeria will play the icon in “Harriet,” a film which follows the iconic freedom fighter on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.

Cynthia Erivo at the 89th Oscars. Photo by Royalty Images

The cast includes Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton,” “Murder on the Orient Express”), Joe Alwyn (“Boy Erased,”) Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters. Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) will direct a screenplay she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard (“Ali,”) on the film which is set to begin filming this October in Virginia.

Cynthia Erivo

Harriet Tubman

Focus Features’ current and upcoming domestic releases include director Morgan Neville’s documentary on Mister Rogers; Lenny Abrahamson’s atmospheric thriller “The Little Stranger;” Joel Edgerton’s coming-of-age and coming-out drama “Boy Erased,” about a boy’s true-life experience at a conversion therapy program, “On the Basis of Sex,” the real-life drama of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg staring Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer and Spike Lee’s recent release “BlacKkKlansman.”

Samantha Ofole-Prince is a journalist and movie critic who covers industry-specific news that includes television and film. She can be reached at sofole@gmail.com

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