The screenwriter for the film “Harriet” reportedly revealed that a Hollywood executive thought Julia Roberts would’ve been great as the lead in the biopic.
In an interview with Focus Feature, Gregory Allen Howard, the film’s producer and screenwriter, revealed that when he first started working on the film 25 years ago, in 1994, Roberts’ name was apparently suggested for the title role. “I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman,’” Allen said.
“When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference,” Howard said, later adding in an exclusive statement to Baller Alert that the executive “out of the business now.”
Howard, who studied Harriett Tubman’s life as a history major at Princeton University, always knew just how remarkable her story was.
The project would take over twenty years before the stars aligned to bring it to the screen. Howard brought other real stories to the screen, including the award-winning 2000 sports drama Remember the Titans and the 2001 boxing biopic Ali as a successful screenwriter.