‘Harriet’ Screenwriter Says Studio Exec Suggested Julia Roberts Play Harriet Tubman

Breitbart Entertainment 2 weeks ago

In an interview published earlier this month, Harriet screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard said a film studio executive once suggested that actress Julia Roberts be cast to play the lead roll of iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

“Harriet, which was set up at Disney 26 years ago, was my first assignment. When I got in the business, I wanted to tell these historical stories by turning them into entertainment. I didn’t want to give history lessons,” Howard explained when asked to give a short history of how the film came together.

“I wanted to turn Harriet Tubman’s life, which I’d studied in college, into an action-adventure movie. The climate in Hollywood, however, was very different back then. I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman.'”

The writer behind hit films like Remember the Titans and Ali continued: “When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.'”

Directed by Kasi Lemmons, Harriet stars British actress Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, who was born a slave, escaped and became the leader of an anti-slavery movement and conductor of what later became known as the Underground Railroad.

The film debuted over the weekend and beat expectation, grossing $12 million from 2,059 theaters. The film currently boasts a 97 audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In his review (read it here) of Harriet, Breitbart’s John Nolte notes: “Throughout its 125 minute runtime, Harriet is engaging, suspenseful, and rousing, and it still would have been all those things without Cynthia Erivo in the title role. Without her, though, Harriet would have also felt more like a television movie than something worthy of a theatrical release.”

Source link
Read also:
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 2 weeks ago
According to "Harriet" screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard, when the Harriet Tubman biopic was first in talks in 1994, a studio head suggested that Julia Roberts, who is white, to play the black American abolitionist. "Harriet" retells the tale of...
Chicago Tribune › 2 weeks ago
According to screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard, Julia Roberts was once suggested by a studio executive to play the role of Harriet Tubman.
The Inquisitr › Entertainment › 2 weeks ago
Cynthia Erivo is currently starring as Harriet Tubman in the historical drama based on Tubman’s life story. The film is simply titled, Harriet. That said, Erivo was not always the first pick to portray Tubman on the big screen. Several iterations of...
Hollywood Life › 2 weeks ago
The Harriet Tubman biopic has been in the works for more than 20 years, and the screenwriter has now revealed that Julia Roberts was once suggested as a casting choice for Harriet. Naturally, fans are super confused.
Fox News › Entertainment › 2 weeks ago
The screenwriter of the new Harriet Tubman biopic claimed that a Hollywood executive once suggested that Julia Roberts play the black American icon.
USA Today › Entertainment › 4 days ago
Last month, news broke an exec allegedly suggested Julia Roberts play Harriet Tubman in 'Harriet.' A producer of the film and the director respond.
NBC News › Entertainment › 2 weeks ago
In the 1990s meeting, the studio executive apparently said people wouldn't notice if Roberts played Tubman because Tubman lived "so long ago."
ABC News › 2 weeks ago
Julia Roberts was suggested for a Harriet Tubman role.
Newsweek › Lifestyle › 2 weeks ago
The screenwriter of the long-gestating "Harriet" says a studio executive wanted Roberts, a white woman, to play the black civil rights pioneer.
USA Today › Entertainment › 2 weeks ago
The suggestion for Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman shook social media.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google