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Janelle Monáe joins biopic about American abolitionist Harriet Tubman

Janelle Monáe joins biopic about American abolitionist Harriet Tubman

Janelle Monae

Singer Janelle Monáe is setting her eyes on the big screen again, and joining Cynthia Erivo in a biopic about Harriet Tubman.

It is not clear who Monáe is playing, but Erivo, who won a Tony for her role in the Broadway musical The Color Purple, is taking on the role of Tubman. Some people have taken issue with a British actor playing an American figure.

Kasi Lemmons is directing Harriet based on a screenplay she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard.

Rounding out the cast is Hamilt0n alum Leslie Odom Jr., as well as Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and more.

Tubman is one of America’s most famous and admired figures. Born into slavery, she escaped in 1849. Following her escape, she undertook 13 missions and rescued about 70 slaves via the Underground Railroad.

During the Civil War, she served as a scout and spy for the Union Army.

Later on in her life, she dedicated her passions to the fight for women’s suffrage. She died in 1913, seven years before the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in 1920, giving women the legal right to vote across the country.

A big screen star

Erivo welcomed Monáe to the film with a tweet.

Monáe’s first live-action role on the big screen was in the Oscar-winning movie Moonlight. She then followed that up with the wildly popular Hidden Figures, alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer.

Her next role is in Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen, coming out on 21 December in the US. It stars Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, and Gwendoline Christie.

Here’s the trailer:

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