Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins To Adapt Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Underground Railroad’ Into A TV Series


March 28, 2017

After winning an Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for his pioneering film, “Moonlight”, many probably were wondering what’s next for filmmaker Barry Jenkins. Well, wonder no more. On Monday, Amazon Studios announced that it will develop a television limited series based on Colson Whitehead’s best-selling novel, “The Underground Railroad” with none other than Barry Jenkins at the helm. Jenkins is set to both write and direct the adaptation. 

Whitehead’s novel sold over 825,000 copies nationwide and became a New York Times best-seller, an Oprah’s Book Club 2016 selection, and the recipient of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. The critically acclaimed novel tells the story of a young woman trying to escape from slavery by following the Underground Railroad, which Whitehead reimagines as an actual train. 


“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”, said Jenkins. “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 series will be produced through Pastel, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, and Jenkins’ production company. Its release date has yet to be announced; however, the project did receive a script-to-series commitment. 

Congratulations, Barry! We can’t wait to see you bring Colson Whitehead’s work to the television.


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