Fresh off winning an Oscar for Moonlight, Barry Jenkins is heading to television to write and direct a limited series adaptation of the novel The Underground Railroad written by Colson Whitehead. Amazon has landed the adaptation, though an exact episode count was not immediately announced.
The project chronicles a young woman's journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, she discovers a railroad full of engineers and conductors, along with 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 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," added 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."