Busy Janelle Monae joining Harriet Tubman biopic and UglyDolls cast

The actress and singer will create original music for UglyDolls.

Singer Janelle Monae is building her acting resume by landing roles in the Harriet Tubman biopic and animated movie UglyDolls.

The Hidden Figures star will team up with Cynthia Erivo, who will play the revered abolitionist in Harriet, which follows the African-American icon's escape from slavery in 1849 and her subsequent missions to rescue dozens of slaves.

Kasi Lemmons of Eve's Bayou fame will direct from a screenplay she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard, alongside Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll, who has worked on movie epics Legends of the Fall and Braveheart.

Leslie Odom Jr., Taylor Swift's actor boyfriend Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters, and Vanessa Bell Calloway will also appear in the movie, which will begin filming in Virginia later this month (Oct18).

A release date has yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Monae will also be seen and heard in UglyDolls, which is based on the popular plush toys created by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim.

The movie will centre on the residents of Uglyville, who have to confront body image issues as they learn to love themselves.

She joins an ensemble cast featuring Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, rapper Pitbull, and comedians Wanda Sykes and Gabriel Iglesias, according to Variety.

Monae, Clarkson, Jonas, and Pitbull will also contribute new music for the movie's soundtrack.

The children's project, designed to launch a new film franchise, is set to hit theatres in May, 2019.

Janelle, who also appeared in Oscar-winning movie Moonlight, will next be seen on the big screen opposite Steve Carell in new movie Welcome to Marwen.

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