The first look at the new Harriet Tubman biopic hit the internet today and its going to be absolutely epic. Cynthia Erivo snagged the lead role, and if you remember, she also played Celie in the Broadway version of the Color Purple. Cynthia is an actress and musician who also won a Tony award for best actress in a musical and a Grammy in 2017. The sistah is decorated!
The movie follows Tubman as she escapes slavery and lands in Philadelphia as a free woman, only to return to the South to free other slaves, including her family.
“The story is such an important one to tell, and it’s crazy that it hasn’t been told yet,” “I think that everyone needs to learn about this woman. There’s always a fear when you’re portraying a woman who means a great deal to a lot of people, and you want to make sure that you do her justice.”
The trailer also gives the first look at Hamilton Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. as William Still, another black abolitionist known as the “Father of the Underground Railroad,” in one of his first film roles. Musician and movie star Janelle Monáe, The Favourite‘s Joe Alwyn and Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles also star.
Eve’s Bayou director Kasi Lemmons helmed the movie, which she cowrote with Remember the Titans writer Gregory Allen Howard. Tony, Grammy and Emmy winner Erivo also sings “Farewell Oh Farewell,” a new song from the film, in the trailer.
“I knew she was small like me,” Erivo, who is 5-foot-1-inch, told PEOPLE. “I knew she was 5 foot, or 4’11′. It fascinated me because I realize this woman was extraordinary because she was small and like me in every sense of the word.”
“It’s a new way of looking at Harriet,” Erivo told PEOPLE of the movie. “She was a hero, and now we get to really tell her story because we haven’t really heard her story. It’s been long overdue.”
Harriet is out in theaters November 1. – Watch the trailer below: