From law professor to an abolitionist, it seems that Viola Davis, the star of critically-acclaimed How to Get Away with Murder, has a penchant for strong heroine roles. It has been announced that Davis will portray abolitionist, former slave and suffragette Harriet Tubman in a biopic produced by HBO and Amblin TV. In the early stages of development, the title and cast are yet to be announced.
The TV film is based on biographical novel Bound for the Promise Land by historian Kate Clifford Larson. It centres on Tubman’s early life as slave who escapes and eventually helps more than 300 other slaves to gain their freedom through the famous Underground Railroad. She later fights on the Union’s side as a spy during the American Civil War.
Hoping to start production during her break from How to Get Away with Murder next year, Oscar nominee Davis will also be an executive producer and will work alongside Entourage executive producer Doug Ellin and screenwriter Kirk Ellis who was behind the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries John Adams and the recent Sons of Liberty. Also on board are Davis’ husband Julius Tennon, Cliff Dorfman, Justin Flavey, Jim Lefkowitz and Darryl Frank as executive producers.