Following Moonlight‘s Best Picture win, naturally Barry Jenkins is in high demand. But his first post-Moonlight project greenlit is actually one that was in motion before Moonlight‘s shocking win.
Amazon have signed on to produce Jenkins’ adaptation of Colson Whitehead‘s novel, The Underground Railroad. The series will be a limited one of few episodes, and though Jenkins is currently only signed on to produce, it’s expected he will write and direct each episode.
The book, released last year, follows Cora, a young girl who makes a desperate run for freedom in the antebellum South. But when she sets out to find the rumoured Underground Railroad, she discovers a literal railroad that actually exists, operating on a secret network of track and tunnels underneath the Southern ground.
Jenkins isn’t the first prestige filmmaker to make the jump to TV, with David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh and Cary Fukunaga all having paved the way with acclaimed series, while Amazon has already jumped on the bandwagon with their Woody Allen series late last year.
Whether Jenkins’ series can live up to some of those former successes remains to be seen, but the source material comes with high praise, with even President Barack Obama being a noted fan of the book. Amazon will be hoping adding Jenkins’ presence will lure more high-profile directors to them as they bid to keep up with Netflix.