Production on Focus Features’ Harriet Tubman film is set to begin

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski has announced that a production start date has been set for HARRIET, an upcoming film chronicling the life of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Born Araminta Ross circa 1822 in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman grew to become a Civil War nurse, suffragist, and Civil Rights activist, as well as one of the most iconic female figures in the history of humankind.

Playing Tubman for Focus' upcoming film is Cynthia Erivo (WINDOWS), who will star alongside Tony and Grammy award winning actor Leslie Odom Jr. (HAMILTON, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS), Joe Alwyn (BOY ERASED, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS), multi-Grammy award winner Jennifer Nettles (UNDERGROUND), and Clarke Peters (THE WIRE, JOHN WICK). Directing the drama is EVE'S BAYOU helmer Kasi Lemmons, who will work from a script that she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard (ALI, REMEMBER THE TITANS). With many of the main players already cast, production is set to begin on HARRIET this October in Virginia.

Based on the story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, Harriet follows Tubman 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.

"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 Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg. “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 the few women to have led an armed expedition in US history.”

“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,” said Focus chairman Peter Kujawski. “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 screen.”

With production on HARRIET scheduled to begin next month, those looking forward to seeing such an inspiring figure represented on the big screen can expect the film to arrive sometime in 2019, I would assume. We'll be sure to bring you the latest on this inspiring production as it gets underway.

Source: Focus Features

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.