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Moonlight Director Adapts THE UNDERGROUND RAILWAY for Amazon

By on June 6, 2018

Pictured: Barry Jenkins

Moonlight director Barry Jenkins will write and direct The Underground Railway, for Amazon, it was revealed today.

The new limited run series is based on Colson Whitehead’s best-selling novel of the same name, and follows Cora, a young slave who 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.

The novel, published in 2016, drew praise for its creative mix of history and fantasy – moving beyond the boundaries of realism in its depiction of a mythical underground train that transports slaves across an alternate America.

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

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