When news broke that there was a Harriet Tubman movie on the way, you had to think...hasn't that story already been told a million and one times? A quick Google search would reveal that in reality A Woman Named Moses, back in 1978, is all Hollywood has ever tossed one of the most influential people in American history! Thankfully, there is a movie about the iconic woman in the works with a Tony Award winner on board to step into her shoes.
Cynthia Erivo is a Broadway star who earned her accolades, and Tony, for her portrayal of Celie in The Color Purple. A role made famous by Whoopi Goldberg when the Alice Walker book hit the big screen in 1985. Erivo is now proving she can also act off stage as she's currently working on a thriller opposite the one and only Viola Davis. That's fine and great, but we are ecstatic to see her as Harriet Tubman.
Speaking of, Davis has been very vocal about Tubman's story being told in Hollywood. Just last year she spoke with Entertainment Weekly about why this is a historical figure we rarely see when it comes to blockbusters, "The reason her life has not been honored, the reason people don’t know what she contributed, is because she’s a black woman." She added, "My opinion is since we all learned about her as kids, she’s [thought of as] this juvenile, one-dimensional character that was better suited for cartoons than as a serious treatment of a blood-and-flesh woman."
As of right now, no one else is attached besides director Seith Mann who has worked for years in television, and writer Gregory Allen Howard who penned Ali and Remember the Titans. That gives us hope that this won't be a movie that strays away from the reality of Tubman's life and waters down what earned her the spot on the upcoming $20 bills the US will be rolling out in the coming years.
The history of America is a convoluted thing that often gets white washed when it heads to the big screen. Look at what Disney did to Pocahontas in '95. Many didn't learn the real story of this Native American girl until much later and by then, we were already stuck singing "Colors of the Wind." Thankfully, it seems like Tubman's story is in the right hands with a talented actress on board who'll do the legend justice.