Producers Debra Martin Chase, Gregory Allen Howard, have teamed up with Charles D. King’s MACRO and Daniela Taplin Lundbergto produce a new film on Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist, leading hundreds of enslaved people to freedom along the route of the Underground Railroad.
The film will be directed by Seith Mann, from a script penned by Gregory Allen Howard, with an early 2017 production start date expected.
MACRO and New Balloon will co-finance and Executive Produce the very timely project, along with Bill Benenson.
Kristen Konvitz and Charles Pugliese will co-producers.
This will be the second Harriet Tubman film in development. Announced last year, Viola Davis will star in and produce a biopic on the life of Tubman, for HBO, based on the 2004 book, “Bound for the Promised Land – Harriet Tubman Portrait: of an American Hero,” by historian Kate Clifford Larson, which draws from a trove of new documents and sources, as well as extensive genealogical research, to paint a portrait of a complex woman and her passionate pursuit of freedom.
Kirk Ellis is scripting the adaptation, with Doug Ellin and his Halyard Park production company executive-producing, alongside Amblin TV, Cliff Dorfman, as well as Viola Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, via their JuVee production shingle.
Both projects come on the heels of the US Department of Treasury’s announcement that Tubman will become the new face of the $20 bill, relocating the slaveholding former president Andrew Jackson to its rear.
I should mention the 1978 TV miniseries, “A Woman Called Moses,” which was based on the life of Tubman. Narrated by Orson Welles, the production was broadcast on NBC on December 11 and 12, 1978. Tubman was portrayed by Cicely Tyson. Generally well-received, it won a WGA award.
Director Seith Mann has directed over thirty episodes of television including “The Wire,” “The Walking Dead,” “Hell On Wheels,” and more. Most recently, he wrote, directed and executive produced “The Breaks,” an original movie for VH1 that has been picked up as a series for the network.
So who would you cast in Mann’s film?