WIDOWS
Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 11/16/2018
Running Time: 129
Rated: R
Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver and Carrie Coon.
Crew: Director: Steve McQueen. Producers: Steve McQueen, Katherine Bridle, Iain Canning, Arnon Michan, Emile Sherman and Bianca Stigter. Executive Producers: Daniel Battsek, Rose Garnett, Sue Bruce Smith and Bergan Swanson. Screenwriters: Steve McQueen and Gilliam Flynn. Cinematographer: Sean Bobbitt.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Director Steve McQueen, who gave us the excellent movie, “12 Years a Slave,” is back with “Widows,” an electrifying heist drama that will make your head spin in a good way.

“Widows,” which McQueen co-wrote with Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), is actually based on the 1983 British hit television series of the same name.

Not only is McQueen’s film a twisty and daring little caper, it also benefits from an explosive cast led by a fierce Viola Davis (TV’s “How to Get Away with Murder”).

The last time I saw Davis bring this much heat to the screen was when she was lashing out at Denzel Washington in “Fences.”

In “Widows” Davis plays Veronica Rawlings. The movie opens with her spending some quality time in the sack with her career criminal husband Harry (Liam Neeson, “The Commuter”). They live well in a tony Chicago penthouse. She works for the school district, but clearly, Harry is the the one with all the paper.

However, Veronica’s cozy and lavish lifestyle is suddenly upended when one of Harry’s robberies goes terribly wrong. He and his partners: Carlos (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado”), Florek (Jon Bernthal, TV’s “The Punisher” and “The Walking Dead”) and Jimmy (Coburn Goss, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) are killed during a lengthy shootout.

Veronica barely has time to grieve over Harry before she’s thrown for another major loop by a crime boss named Jamal Manning (an excellent Brian Tyree Henry, (“White Boy Rick” and TV’s “BoJack Horseman”).

Jamal is the guy that Harry robbed for $2 million. He’s attempting to make the South Side of Chicago great again and is running for district alderman. He needs all that money to help finance his campaign.

While it might seem like Jamal is a shoo-in for the spot, he’s really not because he’s running against Jack Mulligan (a terrific Colin Farrell, “Roman J. Israel Esq.”).

Jack is a debonair politician that knows how to reach out and connect with the black community. Jack is also the son of the incumbent Tom Mulligan (the always great, Robert Duvall, “The Judge”). The family has had a stranglehold on that ward for several years.

So, there’s one showdown brewing.

An even bigger one involves Jamal. He wants that $2 million now. He breaks into Veronica’s place and makes it known too by clutching her little dog and threatening to rip it and her to pieces if she doesn’t get it immediately.

And as crazy as Jamal is, his brother Jatemme (an excellent Daniel Kaluuya, “Black Panther” and “Get Out”), the real enforcer, is even crazier. This guy is ruthless and thinks nothing of beating down a man in a wheelchair for information. It’s a brutal scene, but you’ll probably applaud when Kaluuya gets his.

Of course Veronica is terrified, but surely she learned a thing or two from Harry about how criminals operate. And when she finds a blueprint of a heist that Harry left behind, she starts thinking about getting the money and not just for Jamal, but for her and the other widows left behind from that botched heist.

They include: Linda Perelli (Michelle Rodriguez, “The Fate of the Furious”) who has two kids and owns a clothing store, but now has to shut down because she can’t afford it anymore, Alice ( a terrific Elizabeth Debicki, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”), is in a bad spot too living with an abusive husband.

Alice’s mother (Jacki Weaver, TV’s “Secret City”) suggests she take advantage of her good looks and skill set and become a prostitute.

Fortunately, Alice meets a real-estate guy named David (Lukas Haas, “First Man”) and is able to latch on to him for a bit. Amanda (Carrie Coon, “Avengers: Infinity War”) has a new baby and is worried how she’ll make ends meet, but doesn’t want part of the girls scheme....
 

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/16/2018
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/16/2018
Instant Family

Rated: PG
Opens: 11/09/2018
The Grinch

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/02/2018
Bohemian Rhapsody

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 10/12/2018
The Hate U Give

Rated: R
Opens: 10/05/2018
A Star Is Born


OLD SCHOOL VIDEO PICK OF THE MONTH

Brian's Song Title: Brian's Song
Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 90
Production Company: Screen Gems (Sony)
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: Gale Sayers, Al Silverman and William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: This Review Reprinted In Honor Of Movie Critic Bill Gibron--May 14, 1961--May 11, 2018. Pictured Top Left.

Now with summer behind us, the arrival of fall means weekends attending and watching plenty of football games. Whether they’re college, pro or high school, I’m all over them.

And when it comes to football movies, few move me as much as the 1971 drama...
NEW ON DVD

The Meg <b> (Nov. 13)</b> Title: The Meg (Nov. 13)
Year Released: 2018
Running Time: 113
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Jon Tuerteltaub
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“THE MEG”

I don’t know how anyone could have possibly thought that a movie with Jason Statham hunting a killer shark wouldn’t be a monstrous hit.

“The Meg” is a ridiculous and ridiculously entertaining deep sea adventure from director Jon Turteltaub (“National Treasure”).

The movie reportedly costs $170 million to make, but since it’s release this past summer has grossed $527.8 million worldwide.

“The Meg” is based on Steve Alten’s 1997 sci-fi novel, “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror” and wastes little time getting to the good stuff.

Statham who has battled tough dudes with the greatest of ease in the “Transporter” “Fast and Furious” and “The Expendables” movies, has his hands full with a 75-foot-long Megalodon. This thing makes the shark in Jaws look like a sardine.

Statham plays paleontologist named Jonas Taylor. He was also a rescue diver who had a promising career and life with the United States Navy.

That all fell apart after one of his excursions resulted in a major mishap and he wasn’t able to save anyone. Plus, when he told his superiors that the reason for the botched effort was due to a giant-sized underwater predator he saw, but which scientist had labeled extinct, well everyone considered him a raving lunatic.

Turns out, Jonas wasn’t so crazy after all. Five years later, his services are needed at the underwater research facility, Mana One, which is funded by eccentric billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson, TV’s “Adventure Time”).

Morris, along with Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao, TV’s “The Negotiator”), his oceanographer daughter, Suyin (Li Bingbing, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”) and Jonas’ former colleague, Mac (a very good Cliff Curtis, TV’s “Fear the Walking Dead”) are supervising the expedition.

Jonas wants no part of their program especially after the way he was treated. All that changes however, when he learns that his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee, “Battle of the Sexes”) and two other scientists, Toshi (Masi Oka, TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”) and The Wall ( Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, “The Spy who Dumped Me”) are trapped on the ocean floor in a submersible and have lost communication with the control center.

What’s worse, something big and scary is after them.

You know what it is.

Not only does Jonas get to prove to everyone that he was right—especially Dr. Heller (Robert Taylor, “Kong: Skull Island” TV’s “Longmire”)--about the megalodon, but he also gets the chance to be the ultimate hero as he attempts to kill this humongous beast.

Doing so is far from easy.

Everything you’d expect from “The Meg” is served up here in grand style. The CGI laden effects are cheesy, but still effective. Statham is the perfect action hero for the role.

He is equally funny and dramatic and the movie benefits greatly from his cool swagger, not to mention a lingering half-naked, dripping wet close-up of the chiseled hunk.

The supporting cast is top rate too particularly Page Kennedy (TV’s “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.”) who brings the comic relief. However, Bingbing Li, isn’t all that convincing as Statham’s love interest, but Shuya Sophia Cai is too sweet as her young daughter and is a real plus.

I like everything that Jason Statham does. That he has stepped outside of his comfort zone and done something zany and crazy like “The Meg” sure does work for me.
(Highly Recommended).

Alpha <b> (Nov. 13)</b> Title: Alpha (Nov. 13)
Year Released: 2018
Running Time: 96
Production Company: Sony Pictures
Director: Albert Hughes
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“ALPHA”

Watching “Alpha” on the huge IMAX screen enhanced my enjoyment of this drama from director Albert Hughes, (“The Book of Eli”). I would enjoy it a second time around on a smaller screen, but probably not as much. Still, there’s no denying “Alpha” is a visually stunning and heartfelt film about how mankind discovered man’s best friend.

“Alpha” is set in Europe 20,000 years ago and stars Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee (“Deadpool 2”) as the young hunter Keda. His father, Tau (Johannes Haukur Johannesson, TV’s “Origin”) is a mighty chieftain. Keda and his mother Nu (Mercedes de la Zerda “War for the Planet of the Apes” and TV’s “Designated Survivor”) constantly worry that he won’t grow up and be as tough and fearless like his father.

Their worst fears come to light.

During Keda’s first hunting expedition with his dad and fellow tribesman, tragedy strikes when a stampede of bison tosses the young boy over a cliff and he’s presumed dead.

Through Keda’s sheer will and later an encounter with a wolf who becomes his protector and best friend, the two overcome the perils of the wilderness largely by Keda remembering some of the hunting skills his father taught him.

On their journey home, they encounter everything from a brutal snow storm, predator animals, and sickness from hunger as they struggle to survive.

Director Albert Hughes, who for many years worked with his twin brother Allen, flies solo here. He does a very good job bringing these elements to life for a chilling and touching survivalist tale.
(Recommended).

BlacKkKlansman  <b>(Nov. 6)</b> Title: BlacKkKlansman (Nov. 6)
Year Released: 2018
Running Time: 135
Production Company: Focus Features
Director: Spike Lee
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"BLACKkKLANSMAN"

With ““BlacKkKlansman” Spike Lee has made his most powerful and brilliant movie yet.

Lee directed and co-produced “BlacKkKlansman” with Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) and this film couldn’t be timelier. “BlacKkKlansman” is based on a true story. It’s adapted by Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott from author Ron Stallworth’s book of the same name.

John David Washington, the son of Denzel Washington, stars as Ron Stallworth, the first African-American cop in 1979 to join the Colorado Springs, Colo. police department.

While that was big news, what Stallworth did during his tenure there was even bigger. Initially, Stallworth was assigned by police Chief Bridges (Robert John Burke, “We Only Know So Much” ) to do menial work in the records department. He endured all kind of insults from his co-workers.

So, when an opportunity came for Stallworth to go undercover at a Black Student Union college event to learn about former Black Panther leader Stokely Carmichael/Kwame Ture (a great, Corey Hawkins, “Straight Outta Compton”), he jumped at the chance.

While at the campus event, Stallworth strikes up a flirtatious conversation with BSU president Patrice, (a wonderful Laura Harrier, “Spiderman: Homecoming”). Now, if Patrice really knew he was a cop she wouldn’t give him the time of day.

Stallworth likes this new role. He gets even bolder and answers a recruitment ad for the Klan by calling them up, using his best “white voice” and convinces one of the reps that he hates blacks and Jews and really likes what their organization represents.

Well, when he’s asked to come down and meet with some members, Stallworth gets the bright idea to have his partner Flip Zimmerman (a superb Adam Driver, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) go in his place.

Surprisingly, they’re able to pull off this crazy charade and go deep undercover with the Klan. They even get a meeting with a hatemonger named Felix (Jasper Pääkkönen, TV’s “Vikings”) and the KKK Imperial Wizard himself, David Duke (a stunning and terrific Topher Grace, TV’s “Get Shorty”).

What makes “BlacKkKlansman” work so well is Lee’s biting humor and his ability to weave images of the civil rights issues of the past with today’s racially charged and divisive landscape that features an even more revealing look at last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

And the cast, which also includes: Harry Belafonte, Alec Baldwin and Isiah Whitlock Jr. is sensational too.

“BlacKkKlansman” isn’t a lightweight, disposable film by any means. It proves too, that after all these years, Lee hasn’t missed a beat and still knows how to do the right thing when it comes to making hard-hitting dramas. This one is excellent.
(Highly Recommended).

The Incredibles <b> (Nov. 6)</b> Title: The Incredibles (Nov. 6)
Year Released: 2018
Running Time: 118
Production Company: Walt Disney/Pixar
Director: Brad Bird
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"THE INCREDIBLES"

Directed by Brad Bird, (“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”), “Incredibles 2” picks up right where the first one left off.

The Parr family: Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson, “Book Club”), his wife Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter, TV’s “Here and Now”), teen daughter, Violet (“The Incredibles”), quick-starter son Dash (Huck Milner in his debut) and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) have been in hiding. They hate it too since they are forced to keep their crime-fighting superpowers under wraps.

But, not for long. An evildoer named the Underminer (John Ratzenberger, “Coco”) is acting up in Municiberg and the services of the Incredibles are immediately needed.

It’s Helen/Elastigirl (Hunter) that’s asked to take the lead on this assignment which surprises and slightly angers Mr. Incredible (Nelson). He’s now relegated to daddy duties at home which means helping Dash with his frustrating “new math” homework, dealing with Violet’s teen/boy issues and keeping an eye on the mischievous Jack-Jack whose superpowers have kicked in much to dad’s delight and fashionista Edna Mode (Voiced by Brad Bird).

The timing couldn’t be better for the Parrs/Incredibles to get back out front doing what they do best: Fighting crime.

This is why Telecommunications CEO Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk, “The Post”) believes the public is ready to embrace superheroes again. So, Winston enlists his techno driven sister Evelyn (a terrific Catherine Keener, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado”) to launch a campaign that will make the Incredibles look good in the public’s eye.

It’s not long before they are faced with an even bigger mission that’s more dangerous than before. It involves a mysterious hacker dubbed the Screenslaver. To get to the bottom of the hacking, the Incredibles call on their cool friend, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) for help.

As you’d expect from Pixar/Disney, the animation in “Incredibles 2” is superb and it pops with rich, colorful visuals.

The voice talent is excellent too, but it’s baby Jack-Jack that steals the show. He doesn’t utter many words, but uses his newfound superpowers which can turn him into multiple Jacks and even make him go full beast mode when provoked. There’s a hilarious scene with Jack-Jack fighting with a backyard raccoon.

“Incredibles 2” is a fun, family friendly treat.
(Recommended).
  MOVIE TRIVIA
 
Billy Dee Williams Starred In Which Of These Baseball Movies.
"The Bad News Bears
"One In A Million"
"Bang The Drum Slowly'"
" The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings"
 
  "REEL" MOVIE NEWS
Critics Documentary Awards winners By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

“WON’T YOU BE BY NEIGHBOR?” WINS BEST DOCUMENTARY AT THIRD ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE DOCUMENTARY AWARDS

Brooklyn, New York--The winners of the Third Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards were presented on behalf of the The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) on Nov. 10 at the BRICK in Brooklyn, New York.

N2Entertainment.net served as a nominating committee member for the BFCA.

The gala event was hosted by Bill Nye (TV’s “The Big Bang Theory” and “Blindspot”).

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor? took home the evening’s most prestigious award for ”Best Documentary” as well as “Best Director” for Morgan Neville and the award for “Best Editing.”

“As the documentary world is exploding with great works, we are thrilled to shine a light on the best of the best,” said BFCA President Joey Berlin. “In The Year of the Documentary this was a very special night celebrating the giants in our business and some amazing newcomers.”

During the Documentary Awards show, filmmaker Michael Moore was honored with the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Robert De Niro. Renowned documentarian Stanley Nelson was honored with the Critics’ Choice Impact Award, presented by Joe Berlinger, who received the same honor last year.

Presenters and attendees at the gala event included: Rashida Jones, Pamela Adlon, Matt Dillon, Natasha Lyonne, Steve James, D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, Bing Liu, and Morgan Neville.

“Free Solo” took home the award for “Best Sports Documentary,” the award for “Best Innovative Documentary” and was honored for “Best Cinematography.”

The award for” Best Limited Documentary Series” went to “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling.”

“The Best Ongoing Documentary Series” award went to “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”

The “Best Political Documentary” winner was “RBG.”

“Quincy” took home the award for “Best Music Documentary.”

There was a tie for “Best First Time Director” between Bing Liu for “Minding the Gap” and Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster for “Science Fair.”

Host Bill Nye led the celebration of this year’s honorees for “Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary”--“Scotty Bowers (Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), Alex Honnold (“Free Solo”), Joan Jett (“Bad Reputation”), Quincy Jones (“Quincy”), David Kellman and Bobby Shafran (“Three Identical Strangers”), John McEnroe (“John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection”) and Leon Vitali (“Filmworker”).

This year, the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards introduced the Catalyst Sponsorship, a program for industry leaders to support the event. The inaugural sponsors included Focus Features, National Geographic Documentary Films, Netflix, CNN FIlms, and CuriosityStream.

The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are determined by qualified members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), and feature multiple categories across both television and film.

ABOUT CRITICS’ CHOICE DOCUMENTARY AWARDS:

The third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards honor the finest achievement in documentary features and non-fiction television. The nominees are determined by two committees, made up of BFCA and BTJA members with a background and expertise in the documentary field, chaired by Jennifer Merin and Christopher Campbell.

Winners are chosen from among the nominees by a vote of qualified members of the BFCA and BTJA. The third annual awards ceremony is produced by Bob Bain Productions and Berlin Entertainment.

For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

The eligibility period for the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards runs from January 1, 2018 and includes any film or television program scheduled to premiere on or before December 31, 2018.

ABOUT CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS:

The Critics’ Choice Awards are bestowed annually by the BFCA and BTJA to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. The BFCA is the largest film critics’ organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300 television, radio and online critics.

Yours truly is a proud, card-carrying member. BFCA members are the primary source of information for today’s film-going public. BTJA is the collective voice of journalists who regularly cover television for TV viewers, radio listeners and online audiences. Historically, the Critics’ Choice Awards are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

The CW will partner with the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) as the exclusive home to The 24th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards.

Accolades for the finest achievements in both movies and television will be presented as part of a three-hour ceremony on The CW on January 13, 2019.

For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

ABOUT BFCA/BTJA:

The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300 television, radio and online critics. The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) is a partner organization to the BFCA and includes TV, radio and Internet journalists who cover television on a regular basis.

For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

ABOUT CURIOSITYSTREAM:

Launched by Discovery Communications founder and media visionary John Hendricks, CuriosityStream is the award-winning global streaming and on demand destination that ignites the world’s curiosity.

Immersive experiences showcase world-class filmmakers, stunning visuals, and unrivaled storytelling with the best in science, nature, history, technology, society, and lifestyle documentary features and series. With over 1,800 binge-worthy titles, including exclusive originals, many in Ultra HD 4K, CuriosityStream is available to watch on most devices and platforms worldwide.

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA).


OVERLORD By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

“OVERLORD: THE IMAX 2D EXPERIENCE” OPENS ATTHE ESQUIRE IMAX THEATRE NOV. 8

On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion's success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation.

They find themselves fighting against supernatural forces, part of a Nazi experiment.

“Overlord: The IMAX 2D Experience” opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at the theater box office and online at www.imax.com/sacramento.

The IMAX release of “Overlord” will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of the IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with the Esquire IMAX Theatre’s six story high and 80 feet wide screen, customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

The Esquire IMAX Theatre is located at 1211 K Street in downtown Sacramento, CA. For information on tickets and showtimes, please call 916-443-IMAX (4629) or visit the website at www.imax.com/sacramento.

ABOUT IMAX CORPORATION:

IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined.

Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX, IMAX 3D, IMAX DMR, Experience It In IMAX, An IMAX 3D Experience, The IMAX Experience, IMAX Is Believing and IMAX nXos are trademarks of IMAX Corporation.

More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from IMAX publicity.


HARRIET MOVIE By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

FOCUS FEATURES ANNOUNCES PRODUCTION ON “HARRIET”

Focus Features Chairman Peter Kujawski recently announced that Focus studios has set production on “Harriet,” a new feature chronicling the life of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Tubman will be played by Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winner Cynthia Erivo (pictured. “Bad Times at the El Royale,” “Widows”) and Tony Award-winner and Grammy Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr. (pictured, "Hamilton,” and “Murder on the Orient Express”).

Other cast members of "Harriet" include: Joe Alwyn (“Boy Erased,” “The Favourite,” “Mary Queen of Scots”), multiple Grammy Award-winner Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”).

Awarding winning director Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) will 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. They’re joined by cinematographer John Toll and costume designer Paul Tazewell. Josh McLaughlin, Focus Features president of production, will oversee the production.

“Harriet” will begin filming this October in Virginia.

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.

"This is the story of a seemingly powerless woman who accomplished the extraordinary to save her loved ones, and in the process became a leader of and inspiration for her people,” said producers Chase and Lundberg. “While Harriet Tubman is a household name, most people don’t know the breadth of her story - not only was she a conductor on the Underground Railroad, but she was a spy for the Union army and remains one of the few women to have led an armed expedition in US history.”

“Tubman’s courageous life and the scope of her bravery is truly made to be told on the big screen,” said Focus Chairman Peter Kujawski. “The countless lives she saved, during a time of such hatred and danger to herself, can be described only as heroic. We’re thrilled to be working with this incredibly talented group of filmmakers led by Kasi, Debra, Daniela, and Greg and this multi-talented group of actors in bringing Tubman’s life to film.”

Focus Features and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide.

ABOUT FOCUS FEATURES: Focus Features acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers.

Current and upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Jason Reitman’s new comedy Tully, starring Charlize Theron and written by Diablo Cody; “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, director Morgan Neville’s documentary on Mister Rogers; Lenny Abrahamson’s atmospheric thriller “The Little Stranger;” Joel Edgerton’s coming-of-age and coming-out drama “Boy Erased,” about a boy’s true-life experience at a conversion therapy program.

"Boy Erased" stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe; “Mary, Queen of Scots” with Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I.

“On the Basis of Sex,” is the real-life drama of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and stars Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer.

Asghar Farhadi’s Spanish-language drama “Everybody Knows” (Todos lo Saben) features Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. There's also Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre’s directorial debut “Mustang;” and Spike Lee’s new film “BlacKkKlansman.”

Focus is part of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG), which produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms, as well as consumer products, interactive gaming and live entertainment.

UFEG’s global division also includes Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Brand Development, Fandango, DreamWorks Animation Film and Television and Awesomeness.

UFEG is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.

NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from Focus Features. Photo: Courtesy Of Joseph Marzullo/WENN.