Focus Features’ ‘Harriet’ Biopic Adds Vanessa Bell Calloway, ‘Seven Seconds’ Actor Zackary Momoh & More

By Amanda N'Duka, Andreas Wiseman


EXCLUSIVE: Vanessa Bell Calloway (Coming To America, Shameless), Zackary Momoh (Seven Seconds, A United Kingdom), Deborah Ayorinde (Girls Trip), and Vondie Curtis-Hall (ABC’s For The People) have come aboard the Harriet Tubman biopic from Focus Features. Directed by Eve’s Bayou helmer Kasi Lemmons, the film will be led by Tony winner Cynthia Erivo in the titular role.

Lemmons co-wrote with the screenplay with Gregory Allen Howard. It follows Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity. Calloway will play Harriet’s mother, Rit Ross, while Momoh will play Harriet’s husband.

Previously announced cast includes Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters. Filming is slated to begin filming this October in Virginia.

The Princess Diaries and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants producer Debra Martin Chase is producing the project via her Martin Chase Productions banner, with Daniela Taplin Lundberg (Beasts of No Nation) of Stay Gold Features, and Howard. Josh McLaughlin will oversee the production for the studio.

Focus Features and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide

Calloway is repped by Zero Gravity Management; Momoh by UTA and Identity Agency Group; Ayorinde by CESD and Untitled; Curtis-Hall by Gersh.


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