Following a whirlwind Oscar win for Moonlight, writer-director Barry Jenkins is already working on his next project and the story has historical significance.
In a collaborative partnership with Amazon and Plan B producers, Jenkins is developing The Underground Railroad, a one-hour original limited drama.
The story is adapted from Colson Whitehead’s novel of the same name and “chronicles a young Cora’s journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South,” Deadline reports.”After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers, conductors and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.”
Taking a twist in the realism boundaries of the Underground Railroad, the drama is a blend of magical fable and history, with aspirations to become a full series.
Whitehead’s book, published in August of last year, is a critically-praised bestseller, 2016 National Book Award winner and an Oprah Book Club pick.
Jenkins’ praised Whitehead’s literary works, stating: “Going back to The Intuitionist, Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and The Underground Railroad is no different. It’s a groundbreaking work that pays respect to our nation’s history while using the form to explore it in a thoughtful and original way. Preserving the sweep and grandeur of a story like this requires bold, innovative thinking and in Amazon we’ve found a partner whose reverence for storytelling and freeness of form is wholly in line with our vision.”