Variety is reporting that Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins is set to direct and write one-hour drama series The Underground Railroad, currently in development at Amazon, based on Colson Whitehead’s best-selling novel.
The story, which is a New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, chronicles the journey of a young slave named Cora, who tries to escape her Georgia plantation in the pre-Civil War South. When she reaches the rumoured Underground Railroad, she 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.
Talking about the project, Barry Jenkins said:
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.
Barry Jenkins’ Pastel Productions will executive produce along with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.