Barry Jenkins Will Direct Every Episode of Amazon Studios’ ‘Underground Railroad’ Adaptation

Oscar-winning “Moonlight” director will helm limited series based on Colson Whitehead’s bestselling novel

Barry Jenkins Underground Railroad

Barry Jenkins will direct all 11 episodes of the upcoming adaption of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling novel “The Underground Railroad” for Amazon Studios, the company said Tuesday.

“It’s an absolute gift to have Barry Jenkins commit to directing all the episodes for our upcoming limited series ‘The Underground Railroad,’” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “Barry’s eye for character and sustained exhilarating, emotional storytelling style ensures that this project is in the right hands. We can’t wait to get started and bring this significant story to our Prime Video audience.”

Whitehead’s novel centers on a young slave named Cora and her 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.

Amazon picked up the limited series more than a year ago from Jenkins, his first since directing Oscar-winning movie “Moonlight.” Jenkins will also executive produce “The Underground Railroad” through his company Pastel, along with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

Jenkins added: “Working with Amazon and a wonderful group of screenwriters to develop Colson’s novel into a limited series has been an extremely rewarding experience. Translating his singular voice into a cohesive and equally singular visual language is a task I very much look forward to.”

No premiere date was given for the series.