Oscar-nominated Moonlight director Barry Jenkins is teaming up with Amazon Studios to write and direct an hourlong drama series based around the Underground Railroad, which will be based upon Colson Whitehead’s bestselling book The Underground Railroad.
“Going back to The Intuitionist, Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and The Underground Railroad is no different,” Jenkins tells 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.”
The Underground Railroad “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.”
Jenkins plans to write and direct the series in his entirety. His previous small screen credits include an episode of the PBS series Futurestates, along with an upcoming episode of Netflix’s TV adaptation of Dear White People.