Over two years ago, we reported that Cynthia Erivo would take on the role of Harriet Tubman in a new film. Since then, there were questions about whether or not Erivo should take on such an iconic American figure not only because she was raised in the United Kingdom, without a lineage of slavery in her past, there was also her support of Luvvie Ajayi in the midst of a controversy that left many Black people with the sense that Ajayi didn’t respect Black culture.
And if one doesn’t have the utmost respect for American Black culture, portraying one of our greatest legends should come with questions.
Erivo addressed this in an Instagram post when her casting announcement was made.
But time has passed, temperatures have cooled. And the trailer for the movie has finally dropped. The film, according to Focus Features is “based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.”
The film will be directed and co-written Kasi Lemmons, the Black woman behind Eve’s Bayou, Black Nativity and Talk to Me.
Erivo will be joined by Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Janelle Monáe (Moonlight), Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles and Clarke Peters.
Take a look of a few of these people in action in the trailer below.
I have to admit it looks pretty good. Erivo’s southern accent could have been a bit better but the emotion and the physical strength and the mental fortitude Tubman possessed shines through in this nearly 3-minute trailer.
Harriet will be in theaters on November 1, 2019.