Chris here. Now that the dust has settled from the Oscar telecast snafu, we can just linger in the joy of a black queer microbudgeted film like Moonlight having won Best Picture. And after the film's emotionally immersive success I think it's safe to say that of all of last year's lauded filmmakers, the one that we're most clammoring to see the next project is Barry Jenkins.
Well get ready for him to transfer Moonlight's episodic structure into some actual episodes: the Oscar-winner will be writing and directing an adaptation of Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad" for Amazon as a limited series. The novel follows Cora and Caesar, two slaves who find a literal subterranean train system on her journey to freedom in 1800s America. Already a National Book Award winner, the gorgeous prose is a perfect fit for Jenkins's attentive and comprehensive touch (I started the book this past weekend myself).
Considering Oprah selected it for her intermitent book club, one wonders if she'll also be lending her cache to at least the production team (the Moonlight producing team is also on board). For casting, while you can imagine actors lining up to work with Jenkins, but if there is one thing to hope carries over from Moonlight it's the sense of discovery he brings to a breakthrough ensemble. Have you read the novel yet?