Moonlight producers Plan B and Adele Romanski are re-teaming with the film’s writer/director Barry Jenkins for a new take on the famed underground railroad. I hear the project, which is about to hit the TV marketplace, is a limited series based on Colson Whitehead’s bestselling novel “The Underground Railroad”. The book, published last month by Doubleday, is a National Book Award finalist and Oprah Book Club pick. It has drawn critical praise for its imaginative blend of history and magical fable – moving beyond the boundaries of realism in its depiction of a mythical underground train that transports slaves across an alternate America.
“The Underground Railroad” centers on Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, who boards the train, embarking on a harrowing trip, state by state, as she seeks true freedom while being hunted by a notorious slave catcher.
Underground railroad — the 19th century network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to flee the South — is the subject of WGN America’s popular drama series Underground, produced by Akiva Goldsman and John Legend. Additionally, NBC last year put in development Freedom Run, an eight-hour miniseries and stage musical set against the background of the underground railroad with Stevie Wonder executive producing. There has not been movement on that project.
Moonlight, which recently debuted at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals to great reviews, will also be featured at the New York Film Festival and at the BFI London Film Festival before its limited theatrical release by A24 on October 21. Jenkins is repped by CAA and manager Jewerl Ross. Plan B is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Novelist, non-fiction writer and essayist Whitehead, a MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, and his book are pepped by Nicole Aragi.