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Focus Features released the first trailer for Harriet on Tuesday.
Cynthia Erivo stars as Harriet Tubman in the biopic, which tells the extraordinary tale of Tubman’s escape from slavery and rise to become one of America’s greatest heroes as she helps free hundreds of slaves.
Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles and Clarke Peters also star in the film, while Kasi Lemmons directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Gregory Allen Howard.
The trailer opens with Tubman frantically running away from her slave owner. When she crosses paths with a man on a bridge, she chooses to jump into the water instead of being put in his custody. “I’mma be free or die,” she says before descending into the water.
Once Tubman travels 100 miles and is free, she meets with abolitionist William Still (Odom Jr.). He offers Tubman, who was born as Araminta Ross, the opportunity to start fresh and change her name. She quickly decides to go by Harriet Tubman.
“If I’m free, my family should be, too,” she says, as she adjusts to life as a free woman. “I made up my mind. I’m going back.”
While many people warn her not to try to free any more slaves, she confidently declares that she won’t give up. “I made it this far on my own, so don’t you tell me what to do,” she says.
Still later introduces Tubman to the Underground Railroad, which plays an integral part in helping free slaves.
“I will give every last drop of blood in my veins until this monster called slavery is dead,” she says as a montage shows Tubman and her peers preparing to fight against the slave owners.
The trailer concludes with Tubman instructing the abolitionists to lift up their rifles and point them toward the slave owners.
Erivo is in line to become an EGOT winner. She has already won Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards for her work on Broadway’s The Color Purple. She only needs to win an Oscar to become an EGOT recipient.
Harriet will be in theaters Nov. 1, while its world premiere will take place at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival. Watch the full trailer above.
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