A forthcoming film about the life of Harriet Tubman has found its lead.

Tony Award-winning actress Cynthia Erivo has signed on to portray Tubman in "Harriet," Deadline reported Wednesday. 

The film will be directed by Seith Mann ("The Wire," "The Walking Dead," "Homeland") and written by Gregory Allen Howard ("Ali," "Remember the Titans").

It is one of two film projects about the life of Tubman, the abolitionist and Civil War spy who made her home in Auburn after the war. The other film, an untitled HBO Films project, will star Viola Davis in a story based on Kate Clifford Larson's 2004 biography "Bound for the Promised Land." It remains in development.

Erivo, 30, won the 2016 Best Actress in a Musical Tony for her role as Celie in the Broadway revival of "The Color Purple." She is also attached to star alongside Davis in "Widows," a heist thriller in development by "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen.

Tubman's profile has been rising in the national news as a result of her being named the next face of the $20 bill, as well as the establishment of the Harriet Tubman national historical parks in Auburn and Maryland. A new, younger photo of the abolitionist also recently surfaced, making national news.

However, the only major media to depict Tubman to date was a 1978 TV movie starring Cicely Tyson. Octavia Spencer, Davis' fellow Academy Award nominee from "The Help" who won Best Supporting Actress for her role, portrayed the abolitionist in an episode of Comedy Central series "Drunk History" in 2015.

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

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