Screenwriter reveals studio executives wanted Julia Roberts to play African-American activist Harriet Tubman

"It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference."
"It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference." Photo credit: Getty.

The screenwriter of the recently released Harriet Tubman movie has revealed studio execs wanted to cast Pretty Woman star Julia Roberts as the African American activist. 

The biopic, 'Harriet' was released on Friday,1 November 2019, starring British actress Cynthia Ervo. 

Allen told Focus Features the climate in Hollywood was very different.

"A studio head said this script is fantastic, "Let's get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman.

"When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, "It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference," continued Allen.

Gregory Allen told Focus Features the film was in its planning stage 25-years ago. 

Who was Harriet Tubman? 

  • Harriet Tubman was a famous African American abolitionist who was born into slavery. She made many dangerous missions, risking her life to save up to 70 slaves. 

Allen told Focus Features he wants the viewer to walk away with the feeling that 'you can triumph against insurmountable odds'. 

"It may be hard. It may be challenging. But you can do it." 

 

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