The first look at the forthcoming movie about the heroic American abolitionist Harriet Tubman — titled “Harriet” — was released earlier this week, and it looks like it will absolutely not disappoint.
The synopsis for the film reads:
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.
For those who don’t remember from elementary school, Tubman — whose birth name was Araminta Ross — escaped from Dorchester County, Maryland, to Philadelphia in 1849. In addition to serving as a Union spy during the Civil War, the famed freedom icon underwent some 13 missions, rescuing around 70 enslaved people, many of whom were family and friends. She also helped facilitate the escapes of 50 to 60 more enslaved people.
The Underground Railroad, for which Tubman is known, was a network of safe houses and hidden routes established in the mid-1800s. It was used for enslaved people seeking to escape to free states and Canada.
While the movie’s first trailer was released to much fanfare, there has been some minor criticism over the film’s casting. There have been a few feathers ruffled over the decision to cast Cynthia Erivo as Tubman.
Erivo, to the dismay of some, is from England. They have argued the role of America’s most iconic freedom fighter should be portrayed by a black American actor.
“I don’t know; actors act,” wrote Panama Jackson, a senior editor for The Root. “I’ll let those who feel strongly one way or another fight, hash that out. Meanwhile, I’m definitely going to see Cynthia Erivo chase this Oscar.”
The movie also stars Leslie Odom, Jr., Janelle Monáe, Jennifer Nettles, and Joe Alwyn. It hits theaters Nov. 1.