Amazon to Develop One-Hour Original Limited Drama, "The Underground Railroad," Written and Directed by Barry Jenkins, Oscar Winner for Moonlight
Amazon is currently developing a script-to-series one-hour original limited drama, The Underground Railroad, based on Colson Whitehead's National Book Award winning novel. Set to write and direct is Oscar winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), with the series slated to be executive produced by Pastel (Moonlight) and Brad Pitt's Plan B (Moonlight, 12 Years a Slave).
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, #1 New York Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, 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.
"Going back to The Intuitionist, Colson's writing has always defied convention, and The Underground Railroad is no different," said Barry Jenkins. "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."
"Colson Whitehead's book is a sweeping, character driven, boundary destroying epic," said Joe Lewis, Head of Comedy, Drama and VR, Amazon Studios. "Having Barry bring it to life for Amazon Studios is thrilling. We couldn't be more excited to see what they create."
PASTEL was founded by Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski and Sara Murphy as a home for artists to create provocative, boundary-pushing work in film, television and beyond. In addition to developing in-house productions for Jenkins, PASTEL focuses on supporting diverse projects and empowering filmmakers that further the mandate of integrity, urgency and specificity set forth by MOONLIGHT.
Plan B is represented by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Barry Jenkins is represented by Silent R Management and CAA. Colson Whitehead is represented by Nicole Aragi at Aragi Inc. and Geoffrey Sanford and Brooke Ehrlich at The Sanford Ehrlich Company.