Cynthia Erivo transforms into Harriet Tubman in new biopic trailer

Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman in “Harriet.”
(Glen Wilson / Focus Features)

Cynthia Erivo is an American hero in the new trailer for “Harriet,” Focus Features’ upcoming biopic about abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

The trailer, released Tuesday, offers a first look at the Broadway star‘s take on Tubman as she fearlessly dodges hordes of slave catchers while freeing hundreds of slaves. “Hamilton’s” Leslie Odom Jr. and R&B singer Janelle Monáe also star in the film as members of the resistance.

“I’m going to be free or die,” Harriet tells her white pursuers (including “The Favourite’s” Joe Alwyn) before jumping off a bridge to freedom.

The film, directed by Kasi Lemmons, marks Erivo’s first title role on the big screen. She previously starred opposite Dakota Johnson and Jon Hamm in “Bad Times at the El Royale” and alongside Viola Davis in “Widows.” But she is perhaps best known for her Tony-winning performance as Celie in a revival of Broadway’s classic “The Color Purple.”


“I made it this far on my own, so don’t tell me what I can’t do,” Harriet says, dedicating her life to the cause.

Monáe’s budding acting career has also included acclaimed roles in films “Hidden Figures” and the Oscar-wining center of the infamous 2017 best picture snafu, “Moonlight.”

“You’re confident, composed,” Monáe’s Marie assures Harriet while preparing her for her next rescue mission. “When trouble comes, you’ll be ready.”

“Harriet” hits theaters on Nov. 1.