Following a triumphant Best Picture Oscar win for the critically-acclaimed Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins is set to write and direct a one-hour series chronicling The Underground Railroad, Variety reports.
The series will be based on Colson Whitehead’s best-selling book, The Underground Railroad, and is in development at Amazon.
“Going back to ‘The Intuitionist,’ Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and ‘The Underground Railroad’ is no different,” Jenkins told Variety. “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.”
“Published by Doubleday, ‘The Underground Railroad’ has sold over 825,000 copies in the United States across all formats. An Oprah’s Book Club 2016 selection, New York Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, the book chronicles young Cora’s journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.
Aside from an episode of Netflix’s forthcoming Dear White People, Variety notes this as his first time directing an entire TV series. He also directed an episode of PBS’ Futurestates.
Jenkins’ Underground Railroad series will be executive produced by Pastel Productions and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, which also worked on the production of Moonlight.