'Harriet': Cynthia Erivo plays Harriet Tubman in first trailer

Annie Martin

July 23 (UPI) -- The new biopic Harriet has released a first official trailer.

The upcoming film shared a preview Tuesday featuring actress Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and former slave who lived from 1822 to 1913.


The trailer shows Tubman escape slavery but return to help her family. She also joins the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses, to help lead other slaves to freedom.

"God don't mean people to own people," Tubman says in the clip. "I will give every last drop of blood in my veins until this monster called slavery is dead."

Harriet is directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou, Talk to Me) and co-stars Leslie Odom, Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles and Janelle Monae. The movie opens in theaters Nov. 1.

Erivo, a British actress known for Widows, discussed playing Tubman in an interview with Deadline published in December.

"I mean so far, playing this role, it's been one of the toughest I've ever done in my life, but I'm really grateful for it. From where I am standing, from the look on other people's faces, from what people are experiencing, I feel like we've got something really, really special," she said.


Erivo also addressed backlash to the film casting a British actress as Tubman.

"In the end, it's more fool me if I come out of this and I haven't done a good job, and I haven't told the story well. I would rather tell this story well, do it justice, and hopefully some minds will change," she said.

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