Social media users are picking up on some early Oscars buzz after the first trailer was released for the upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic, featuring Cynthia Erivo as Tubman and co-starring singer/actor Janelle Monáe.
The trailer depicts Tubman's initial escape from a slave owner, making it out of the south and meet with abolitionist William Still, known for helping slaves find their freedom. However, it's not long before Tubman turns around, intent on helping to free her family and other enslaved people left behind.
In the film, directed by Kasi Lemmons, Monáe plays Marie - a free black woman who Tubman prepare for her battle.
Speaking about the role to Vanity Fair last year, Erivo described the emotional toll of playing Tubman.
“If I was to stay in her body for a really long time, I would not make it out alive most days,” she explained.
“Like, yesterday was an emotional day, doing the scenes where she finds out [John’s] with someone else. She sees it. She also has her epilepsy - she had seizures. So that whole day, I was essentially in character.”
She continued: “It’s already gonna leave a scar on my soul. This is gonna be with me for the rest of my life. I’m fully ready for it.”
The movie, which also Leslie Odom Jr. and Clarke Peters, is due for release in November.