EXCLUSIVE: Tony award winning actress Cynthia Erivo has been tapped as the title character in Macro/New Balloon’s film Harrietthe biopic on famous abolitionist and warrior Harriet Tubman. Seith Mann attached to direct from a script by Gregory Allen Howard.

Tubman is an American hero who escaped the shackles of slavery and subsequently helped free others from servitude through a channel of safe houses and secret routes known as the Underground Railroad. She also served a spy for the Union during the Civil War and fought for women’s right to vote.

The pic is being co-financed by Macro, New Balloon, and Stay Gold Features. Debra Martin Chase is producing along with Howard, Founder/CEO of Macro Charles D. King, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, and Kim Roth. Exec producers are New Balloon’s Elizabeth Koch, Kristina Kendall, Nnamdi Asomugha and Bill Benenson as well as Poppy Hanks.

Erivo starred in the Broadway production of The Color Purple, which earned her a Tony for leading actress. She is also up for the Best Musical Theater Album Grammy this weekend and is set to perform the Memoriam tribute with John Legend. On the film side, Erivo is currently working on the Steven McQueen-directed thriller Widows, opposite Viola Davis and Moonlight‘s André Holland. She is repped by UTA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, Claire Hoath, Friends At Work, and Peikoff/Mahan