In today's most bonkers news, apparently an unnamed studio executive in Hollywood suggested that Julia Roberts play Harriet Tubman in the upcoming film about the activist's life.
In an interview with the film's production company, Focus Features, the film's writer and producer Gregory Allen Howard shared that the idea for the biopic came to him in 1994. It took 26 years for the film to finally come to fruition thanks, in part, to the success of movies like 12 Years a Slave and Black Panther, according to Howard.
The climate in Hollywood at the time of its introduction was so backward that one studio head thought Julia Roberts could play the lead role, revealed Howard. To make matters worse, when it was pointed out that Roberts could never play the black activist for obvious reasons, the unnamed executive said, "It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference," according to Howard.
What makes the issue even more frustrating is that the idea for Harriet was more than two decades in the making, and only now, when it's become clear that non-white narratives are marketable and desired by audiences, are producers willing to take a chance on such an important historical figure.
The silver lining here is that her story is finally being told and in a really honorable way. Howard, who studied the activist at Princeton, sees Harriet Tubman for the superhero that she truly is and explained in his interview that this movie is his "valentine to black women."
Cynthia Erivo is playing the inspirational Harriet Tubman in a biopic about the activist's life, and it looks like the action-adventure film it should be.
Howard is a black screenwriter who studied Harriet Tubman's life as a history major at Princeton, so he definitely has the chops to take on such an influential story. In his interview with Focus Features, he shared that he wanted Tubman to be viewed as a "superhero" and be a symbol of empowerment for black women.
"I wanted them to be able to go to the movies on Saturday and see this young black woman take on this incredible power structure and triumph over it," he said.