Janelle Monáe Joins Focus Features’ Harriet

Chronicling the life of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman

We learned earlier today that Grammy Award-nominated artist Janelle Monáe had joined the UglyDolls voice cast, and now Focus Features has announced that Monáe will also star in Harriet, the new feature chronicling the life of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Monáe joins the previously-announced cast, including Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winner Cynthia Erivo as Tubman, along with Tony and Grammy Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, multiple Grammy Award winner Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Zackary Momoh, Deborah Ayorinde, and Vondie Curtis-Hall.

Award-winning director Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) is set to direct a screenplay she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard (Ali, Remember the Titans). Debra Martin Chase (The Princess Diaries, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) with Martin Chase Productions, Daniela Taplin Lundberg (Beasts of No Nation, The Kids are All Right) with Stay Gold Features and Gregory Allen Howard will produce.

The film is set to begin filming this October in Virginia.

Monáe will soon be seen on screen in Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen, co-starring Academy Award nominee Steve Carrell, Emmy Award winner Merritt Wever, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Eiza González, and Gwendoline Christie. Her previous acting credits include the Academy Award-winning Best Picture Moonlight and Best Picture nominee Hidden Figures.

She recently released her critically-acclaimed third solo album, Dirty Computer and the accompanying Dirty Computer: An Emotion Picture by Janelle Monáe. Monáe previously released critically-acclaimed albums ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady.

Based on the story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, Harriet follows Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity. Focus Features and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide.

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