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Viola Davis as Harriet Tubman for HBO

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  • Atypical
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    #347634

    Viola Davis Developing Harriet Tubman Movie at HBO

    April 27, 2015 | 05:02 PM PT
    Cynthia Littleton


    Managing Editor: Television

    @Variety_Cynthia

    Viola Davis is attached to star in an HBO
    telepic about the life of Harriet Tubman, the activist who helped
    devise a system that allowed hundreds of slaves to escape to freedom via
    the Underground Railroad.

    Davis is developing the project with Amblin TV and writer Kirk Ellis,
    who has penned historical projects for HBO including its “John Adams”
    miniseries, and “Entourage” exec producer
    Doug Ellin. The untitled movie is based on the book “Bound for the
    Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero” by Kate
    Clifford Larson.

    Davis is exec producing with her partner and husband Julius Tennon,
    Amblin’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, Ellin, Jim Lefkowitz, and Cliff
    Dorfman.

    The movie is in the early development stage and has not been given
    the go-ahead for production. But  it’s eyed for filming during Davis’
    hiatus next year from her hit ABC drama “How to Get Away With Murder.”

    Tubman became an American icon as a woman who escaped from slavery in
    Maryland in 1849 and helped organize a network of safe houses to help
    her relatives. She eventually helped hundreds of slaves to secure their
    freedom and became the most famous “conductor” on the network.

    During the Civil War, Tubman served with the Union Army as a cook and
    a nurse, but she was eventually pressed into service as a spy.

    Tubman is not the only African-American historical figure that Davis
    has sought to portray onscreen. The actress has been developing a
    feature film based on the life of pioneering congresswoman Barbara
    Jordan.

    HBO has another biopic of an African-American female icon set to
    premiere May 16 with Queen Latifah’s portrayal of blues legend Bessie
    Smith in “Bessie.”

    http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/viola-davis-harriet-tubman-hbo-kirk-ellis-movie-1201480848/

    Reply
    Patrick
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    #347636

    They should probably just give her an Emmy now…well two if you count for How to Get Away For Murder 

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    Choice Chayawat
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    #347637

    Poor Kerry Washington. After her Scandal performance is overshadowed by Viola Davis’ HTGAWM, the same is about to happen with their HBO movie projects. Hopefully Anita Hill biopic won’t be released in the same eligible period as this one.

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    Anonymous
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    #347638

    I hope it doesn’t premiere around the same Emmy cycle as Kerry Washington’s HBO movie. I wouldn’t want Viola Davis to cost two Emmys to Kerry Washington. 

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    M
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    #347639

    Happy for Viola, as always, but, frustrated that HBO is the only game in town for vehicles like this.

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    24Emmy
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    #347640

    Emmy bait for Viola Davis. Nice.

     

    HBO has the following roles for lead actresses in the works:

    Anita Hill — Kerry Washington

    Billie Jean King — Elizabeth Banks

    Gloria Steinem — Marisa Tomei

    Harriet Tubman — Viola Davis

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #347641

    Who would have thought that Harriet Tubman biopic would be synonymous with an instant Emmy frontrunner? Oh, I guess HBO did. Davis is such a great actress, I love seeing her get work, but once she has a mantle full of Emmys, I hope she gets back into the Oscar race!

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    DCurrie
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    #347642

    Yes, Vee, I’m so glad she’s doing this project!  She’s tailor made for it!! Written by the writer of the emmy – showered “John Adams”? ! Wowww!!! Wonder who’s set to direct?  If there’s one in place yet? ?

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    24Emmy
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    #347643

    Let’s not give Viola Davis the Emmy already. Marisa Tomei gets to play Gloria Steinem in a HBO miniseries produced by George Clooney (of course we’ll have to wait and see when these projects air).

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    M
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    #347644

    Let’s not give Viola Davis the Emmy already. Marisa Tomei gets to play Gloria Steinem in a HBO miniseries produced by George Clooney (of course we’ll have to wait and see when these movies/mini air).

    In a dead season Gloria Steinem would be a lock for Tomei. However the season looks to be competitive.

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    DCurrie
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    #347645

    Well, I just read closely and Viola’s won’t even be shot till next year, so she will more than likely miss the 2016 deadline, anyway.

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    eastwest
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    #347646

    I thought auntie was done with these kind of roles. I’ll keep it cute somewhat since she’s using her new found success to make things for herself, but must it be another slave part? Sigh. At least she has Annalise and Amanda.

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    24Emmy
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    #347647

    Well, I just read closely and Viola’s won’t even be shot till next year, so she will more than likely miss the 2016 deadline, anyway.

     

    Yeah. HBO will space these projects out. Recent years have seen two big names in contention:

    2011 — Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

                Diane Lane, Cinema Verite

    2012 — Julianne Moore, Game Change

                Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn

    2015 — Queen Latifah, Bessie

                Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge

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    Atypical
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    #347648

    This project sounds amazing! I can already envision Viola in my head. Yes, please space out these baity actressing projects plz, HBO.

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    DCurrie
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    #347649

    And they have a damn good track record of if more than one are in contention, one of them usually prevails. Lol

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