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April 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm #347634
Viola Davis Developing Harriet Tubman Movie at HBO
April 27, 2015 | 05:02 PM PT
Managing Editor: Television
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
Davis is exec producing with her partner and husband Julius Tennon,
Amblin’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, Ellin, Jim Lefkowitz, and Cliff
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
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.”April 27, 2015 at 6:02 pm #347636
They should probably just give her an Emmy now…well two if you count for How to Get Away For MurderApril 27, 2015 at 6:14 pm #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.April 27, 2015 at 6:14 pm #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.April 27, 2015 at 6:22 pm #347639
Happy for Viola, as always, but, frustrated that HBO is the only game in town for vehicles like this.April 27, 2015 at 6:38 pm #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 DavisApril 27, 2015 at 6:55 pm #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!April 27, 2015 at 7:06 pm #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? ?April 27, 2015 at 7:08 pm #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).April 27, 2015 at 7:16 pm #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.April 27, 2015 at 7:16 pm #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.April 27, 2015 at 7:18 pm #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.April 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm #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 KitteridgeApril 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm #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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