Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis will play Harriet Tubman in an HBO Films and Amblin TV production, EW has confirmed. The untitled project is based on Kate Clifford Larson’s book Bound for the Promised Land, the 2003 biographic novel on the Civil War-era abolitionist and prominent Underground Railroad worker. Deadline first reported the news.
This is the third Underground Railroad-related project in the works: WGN has a 10-episode production titled Underground helmed by Akiva Goldsman, while NBC is working on miniseries Freedom Run, produced by Stevie Wonder.
Kirk Ellis, who penned acclaimed HBO miniseries John Adams, will write the film. Davis will be an executive producer, along with Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Doug Ellin, Jim Lefkowitz, Cliff Dorfman, and Julius Tennon.
Interesting fact,in April 1858, Tubman was introduced to the abolitionist John Brown, who advocated the use of violence to disrupt and destroy the institution of slavery. Tubman shared Brown’s goals and at least tolerated his methods. Tubman claimed to have had a prophetic vision of Brown before they met. When Brown began recruiting supporters for an attack on slaveholders at Harper’s Ferry, he turned to “General Tubman” for help. After Brown’s subsequent execution, Tubman praised him as a martyr.
When she died, Tubman was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn. The city commemorated her life with a plaque on the courthouse. Tubman was celebrated in many other ways throughout the nation in the 20th century. Dozens of schools were named in her honor, and both the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn and the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge serve as monuments to her life.
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