Cynthia Erivo is set to star as Sarah Forbes Bonetta (Picture: Getty/PA)
Cynthia Erivo is set to produce and star in an upcoming film as Sarah Forbes Bonetta, an African princess who became Queen Victoria’s goddaughter.
Sarah, who was originally named Omoba Aina, was an Egbado princess in West Africa in the 19th century.
She was tragically orphaned and enslaved, before being ‘gifted’ to Queen Victoria, renamed, and taken to England.
Harriet actress Cynthia is determined to make sure the ‘forgotten princess’ is ‘forgotten no more’ as she depicts Sarah facing public scrutiny and suspicion as an educated Black woman.
‘I am excited to embark on this journey. It has taken a long time to get to a point where we can even begin to realise this dream,’ she explained.
‘As a Nigerian-British woman, to get the opportunity to tell the story of another Nigerian-British woman who until now has been erased from the history books, is an honour.’
Oscar-nominee Cynthia is determined to ‘finally give her a voice’ (Picture: Getty Images)
Cynthia added: ‘Miss Sarah Forbes Bonetta, Omoba Aina, is truly a passion of mine and I’m so pleased to have been able to find partners in the incredible women, Leah Clarke and Rienkje Attoh, to tell the story and finally give her a voice.
‘I cannot wait to dive into her story. She is indeed the forgotten princess, forgotten no more.’
Developed by BBC Film, the upcoming feature will be ‘a celebration of Sarah, a modern, strategic, determined heroine who found a way to embrace her Black-ness, her African-ness and to ultimately find love: forging a path for herself that honoured both her heritage and her upbringing.’
The film will follow Sarah as she faces public scrutiny (Picture: PA)
Benedict Cumberbatch is set to executive produce, with Cynthia and Solome Williams co-producing.
Oscar nominee Cynthia is best known for her performance in Harriet, a biographical film about Harriet Tubman.
She became the only Black Oscar nominee at this year’s Academy Awards, describing it as a ‘bittersweet’ moment.
‘I really want people to see it and think, “You know, this, this doesn’t look right. This doesn’t feel right,”‘ she told Entertainment Tonight.
‘I want us to be celebrated, I want us to, because we work hard all year long, and we put good work out, and there’s beautiful pictures that we make, and there’s beautiful stories that we tell, and those deserve celebration as well. So, we should be able to be there too.’
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