The writer of Harriet Tubman’s new biography claimed that a Hollywood executive had already suggested that Julia Roberts embody the American black icon.

Gregory Allen Howard, screenwriter and producer of “Harriet”, cast a light on the long journey of the film to be made, which goes back to the 90s.

However, according to Howard, an anonymous “studio headman” advocated that the star of “Pretty Woman” play the role of the abolitionist.

“The climate in Hollywood was, however, very different at the time,” Howard said in a question-and-answer article earlier this month. published by the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “I was told that a studio chief had said at a meeting:” This script is fantastic. Let Julia Roberts interpret Harriet Tubman. When someone pointed out that Roberts could not be Harriet, the executive replied, “It was so long ago. Nobody will know the difference. “

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Harriet Tubman’s role eventually falls to British actress Cynthia Erivo, who had previously starred in “Widows” and “Bad Times at the El Royale” in 2018.

Howard then credited the Academy Award-winning film “12 Years a Slave” and Marvel’s blockbuster “Black Panther” for “changing the climate in Hollywood” that made his Tubman biopic happen.

“Two films have really changed Hollywood’s climate to allow Harriet to be created.” When “12 Years a Slave” became a hit and brought in a few hundred million dollars worldwide, I told my agent: “You can not say that kind of story.¬†will not make money now.¬†Then, “Black Panther” really blew the doors, “said Howard.