Black Filmmakers Responsible for Upcoming Harriet Tubman Biopic

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Variety
Variety

Two weeks after it was announced Harriet Tubman would be featured on the $20 bill, a new movie about her life is in the works.

Tubman is known for helping enslaved Africans escape their horrible circumstances via a series of safe houses called the Underground Railroad.

Variety reports the biopic has a temporary title of “Harriet.” African-Americans Seith Mann and Gregory Allen Howard are attached to the project. Mann will direct while Howard has screenwriting and production duties.

Other Black filmmakers attached to the film include producers Charles D. King and Debra Martin Chase. King is known for being the first ever African-American to work his way up from the William Morris Endeavor agency’s mailroom to a partner role.

Production for “Harriet” will start early next year with King’s production company, Macro, financing the project. Media company New Balloon will co-finance.

All of the filmmakers attached to the project have several successful TV and movie ventures under their belts.

Mann has worked on dozens of hit shows, including “Homeland” and “The Wire.” Chase produced “The Preacher’s Wife,” Disney Channel’s “The Cheetah Girls” and the Lifetime TV movie “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.” Howard’s movie contributions include “Ali” and “Remember the Titans.”

King founded Macro in 2015 and produced and financed “Fences” – starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis – in partnership with Paramount Pictures and Bron Studios. King also produced 2016’s “The Land,” starring Erykah Badu with executive producer Nas, according to Variety.

This year’s Tubman biopic is different from the one Davis was developing for HBO last year. Deadline reports the actress will star in the subscription cable telepic. The film is based on the biography, “Bound For The Promised Land” by historian Kate Clifford Larson. It tells the story of Tubman leading more than 300 enslaved Africans to independence in the North. Davis also serves as an executive producer through her company, JuVee Productions.

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