It would not be awards season without an Oscar hopeful from Focus Features, and this past year that the specialization arm of Universal looks to have a huge one with”Harriet.” By”Eve’s Bayou” manager Kasi Lemmons,”Harriet” is a biographical play which tells the story of their abolitionist icon Harriet Tubman.
“Harriet” stars rising Hollywood celebrity Cynthia Erivo at the title role. Erivo is best known to theater-goers for her breakout work on Broadway, including winning a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2016 for her acclaimed run as Celie from the resurrection of”The Color Purple.” Last fall, the celebrity broke big at the films using supporting turns in Drew Goddard’s”Bad Times in the El Royale” and Steve McQueen’s”Widows.” “Harriet” marks Erivo’s debut as a leading star. The supporting cast contains”Hamilton” Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. because abolitionist William Still, also Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Janelle Monáe.Lemmons co-write that the”Harriet” script with Gregory Allen Howard, who understands a thing or two about crafting rousing biographical dramas thanks to his work on”Remember the Titans” and Michael Mann’s”Ali.” The latter earned Will Smith an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. “Harriet” is now Lemmons’ very first feature directorial effort because 2013’s”Black Nativity.” Her additional credits include 1997 breakout”Eve’s Bayou,” 2001 puzzle drama”The Caveman’s Valentine,” and 2007 drama”Talk to Me”
“Harriet” is one of many potential Oscar contenders for Focus Features arriving this awards season. Before the November launch, Focus is launching the”Downton Abbey” movie adaptation in September. The distributor also has Todd Haynes’ play”Dry Run,” which recently wrapped production. The movie, starring Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway, might be finished in time for a late period introduction.