After conquering Broadway and breaking out on the big screen in Steve McQueen’s “Widows,” Cynthia Erivo is ready to break free in her new film “Harriet” as the Underground Railroad pioneer Harriet Tubman.
Erivo stars as Tubman in the new historical drama that Focus Features is releasing later this fall. The movie tells the story of the iconic freedom fighter and follows her both on her escape from slavery and during her subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves in the South during a time of extreme adversity ahead of the Civil War.
“I’ll be free or die,” she says before jumping off a bridge into a stream to avoid capture. “If I’m free my family should be too. I made up my mind, I’m going back.”
The trailer almost has an action-thriller feel, with Tubman escaping captors, sneaking past guards and learning how to fire a gun.
Erivo is also joined by Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles and Clark Peters in the film. Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) directed and co-wrote the screenplay along with Gregory Allen Howard.
“Harriet” is just Erivo’s third film following “Widows” and “Bad Times at the El Royale.” The rising star will next be seen in “Chaos Walking” and “Needle in a Timestack.”
“Harriet” hits theaters Nov. 1. Watch the trailer for the film above.