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Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins Adapting The Underground Railroad

Even before Moonlight shocked the world and won Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, the industry was waiting excitedly to find out what director Barry Jenkins would do next. Today, the wait is over: according to Deadline, he’ll be adapting Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad into a limited television series for Amazon.

Whitehead’s acclaimed novel blends the historical with the surreal, as Cora, an excaped slave in Georgia, discovers that the “underground railroad” is more than just a network of safe places – it’s a literal train, tracks, engineers and all, moving underneath the earth.

Jenkins had this to say about the novel:

“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.”

While I’d hoped his next project would be another feature film, this is a really promising prospect as well. With such an expanded runtime, Jenkins will be able to show us even more of the magic that made Moonlight so special.

No further information is known about the project, such as who will star and when it is scheduled to premiere. We’ll update you when more information becomes available, as this is one of the more highly anticipated projects in the foreseeable future.

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