"Harriet" hits theaters on November 1.
As a handful of American activists continue to petition for Harriet Tubman's portrait to be featured on the twenty-dollar bill, Hollywood is turning her legendary story into a biopic. On Tuesday, Focus Features released the first look into the upcoming film, Harriet. Tony Award-winning British actress Cynthia Erivo stars as the title character and told PEOPLE earlier this year that she didn't intend on portraying Tubman as an unrelatable, larger than life persona.
"I don’t think she set out to be a superhero," Erivo said. "I think she just set out to do the right thing.” She added, “I knew she was small like me. I knew she was 5 foot, or 4'11". It fascinated me because I realize this woman was extraordinary because she was small and like me in every sense of the word."
Focus Features describes the film as:
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.
The movie will follow Tubman's life as a slave, track her first escape from bondage, showcase her work as an abolitionist with the Underground Railroad, and trace her repeated returns to the South to free 70 other captives in an 11 year period.Harriet also stars Janelle Monaé, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Leslie Odom Jr., Tory Kittles, Jennifer Nettles, and Joe Alwyn. Check out the powerful trailer below.