Oscar winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) is expanding his relationship with Amazon Studios, signing a first-look deal via his Pastel banner to develop television series for premiere on Amazon Prime Video. Jenkins is slated to direct all eleven episodes of limited series The Underground Railroad, which received a script-to-series commitment from Amazon Studios in June. Pastel, founded by Jenkins, Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy and Mark Ceryak, as a home for artists to create provocative, boundary-pushing work in film, television and beyond, is executive producing The Underground Railroad with Brad Pitt’s Plan B.
“Barry is clearly a master of groundbreaking, authentically emotional storytelling and we are so proud to have him share that gift with us,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We are incredibly fortunate to have also secured his directorial vision for the entire limited series The Underground Railroad.”
“We at Pastel are excited to continue our Amazon relationship begun on Underground Railroad and look forward to growing that partnership on projects near and beyond,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins became the first African-American filmmaker in Oscar history to be nominated for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture for Moonlight. His feature film debut, Medicine for Melancholy, was hailed as one of the best films of 2009 by The New York Times. In 2017, Jenkins along with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney received an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his second feature Moonlight, which won Best Picture at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes (Drama). Jenkins debuted his latest film If Beale Street Could Talk, based on James Baldwin’s novel and starring Regina King and Brian Tyree Henry, at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim.