Harriet is a 2019 American biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons who wrote the screenplay with Gregory Allen Howard about slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman. It stars Cynthia Erivo as Tubman with Leslie Odom Jr. Joe Alwyn and Janelle Monáe in supporting roles.
A biography about Harriet Tubman had been in the works for years, with several actresses, including Viola Davis, rumored to star. Erivo was cast in FEB 2017, much of the cast and crew joined the following year and principal photography began in Virginia in October 2018.
It is based on the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad.
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.
In 2015, Viola Davis was set to star in and produce a Harriet Tubman biopic, however it never came to fruition. Development on a new film began in May 2016. In February 2017, Cynthia Erivo was cast as Tubman, with Seith Mann directing from a screenplay by Gregory Allen Howard.
Further development on the film was announced in September 2018, with Focus Features set as the new distributor Kasi Lemmons attached as director and Leslie Odom Jr. Joe Alwyn Jennifer Nettles and Clarke Peters among others, were added to the cast. In October Janelle Monáe was announced among several new castings for the film, with filming due to begin on 8th OCT 2018 in Virginia, lasting through December.
It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2019. This movie to be released in the United States on 1st November 2019.