The trailer for director Kasi Lemmons' Harriet Tubman biopic, Harriet, is now online. Historical biographies are often released towards the end of the year, just as awards voting bodies prepare to announce their annual picks for the best in film. In November 2018, for example, the Freddie Mercury and Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody opened big at the box office and went on to earn several prizes, including the Oscars for Best Actor and Editing. That's to say, 2019 won't be an exception in that respect.
Among this year's crop of memoirs is Harriet, a film about the famous slave-turned freedom fighter and key player in the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman. In addition to having an acclaimed filmmaker in Lemmons (whose previous offerings include Eve's Bayou and Talk to Me) writing and directing, Harriet is being headlined by Cynthia Erivo, who broke-out in 2018 thanks to her performances in Bad Times at the El Royale and Widows. Now, there's some actual footage of Erivo in the movie available.
Focus Features released the Harriet trailer online today, and is expected to begin showing it in theaters this weekend with Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. You can check it out in the space below, followed by the film's new poster.
Cowritten by Gregory Allen Howard (Remember the Titans), Harriet aims to not only do justice by Tubman's story on the big screen, but also cover the events from her life that people are (in general) less familiar with. Its trailer, for example, confirms that Lemmons' film will not only touch upon her escape and subsequent return to the Antebellum South to help free other slaves, but also explore her time serving as a scout and spy for the Union during the American Civil War. In doing so, Harriet ought to serve as a proper showcase for Erivo's acting, even as it brings its namesake's many extraordinary experiences to life on the big screen in what looks like a stirring historical adventure.
Lemmons has further assembled a strong supporting cast around Erivo, with well-respected names like Leslie Odom Jr. (Murder on the Orient Express), Janelle Monáe (Welcome to Marwen), Clarke Peters (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), and more playing important people in Harriet Tubman's life here. Needless to say, Focus Features sees this one as a prospective awards season contender and plans to give it a semi-wide release in early November, e.g. the same frame that served Bohemian Rhapsody well just last year. If the final movie lives up to the initial marketing, then Harriet ought to be something pretty special indeed.
Source: Focus Features
- Harriet (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019