Underground Railroad: Barry (Moonlight) Jenkins New Series at Amazon

Barry Jenkins, the director of the Best Picture Oscar Moonlight, will write and direct a one-hour drama series about the Underground Railroad for Amazon.

Barry Jenkins accepts the award for best director for “Moonlight” at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The series will be based on Colson Whitehead’s best-selling book, The Underground Railroad.

“Going back to ‘The Intuitionist,’ Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and ‘The Underground Railroad’ is no different,” Jenkins said.

“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.”

Published by Doubleday, The Underground Railroad has sold over 825,000 copies in the US across all formats. An Oprah’s Book Club 2016 selection, NY Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, the book 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.
This will be Jenkins first attempt at directing a TV series in its entirety. He recently directed an episode of the upcoming Netflix adaptation of the film Dear White People, and previously directed one episode of the PBS series “Futurestates.”