EXCLUSIVE: Indie distributor A24, which is riding high on the back of summer indie hits Amy and Ex Machina, is partnering with Plan B and Adele Romanski to produce and finance Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight. The project will be A24’s first production. Jenkins wrote and will direct his script, which is based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, by MacArthur Fellow Tarell McCraney. Moonlight is Jenkins’ follow-up to his debut feature, the critically acclaimed Medicine For Melancholy. A24 is fully financing and owns worldwide rights.
Moonlight tells the story of Chiron and his coming of age during the War on Drugs-era Miami. Structured in three different time periods – the most pivotal moments of Chiron’s fraught quarter-life, battling a deteriorating home life and his dawning sexuality – the film is described as a radical depiction of modern masculinity. Casting is underway, with filming set to commence in Miami in the fall.
“We are extremely proud to be involved with this heartfelt, groundbreaking film,” A24 said in a statement. ‘The opportunity to work with Barry, one of the most talented and daring contemporary directors, and Plan B, who consistently provide a home for filmmakers, is very exciting.”
Launched in 2012, A24 already has established itself as a distinctive voice in the marketplace. Buoyed by a $40 million VOD deal with DirecTV, A24 has enjoyed arguably the sleeper hit of the year so far in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, featuring a luminous turn by Alicia Vikander. The sci-fi chiller has grossed more than $25 million domestically to date. Also performing strongly is Asif Kapadia’s feature-length docu on tragic singer Amy Winehouse. Amy is at $7.6 million domestically so far.
While Moonlight is the company’s first production, it won’t be its last. The company has a slate that includes Cary Fukunaga’s Joe And Jadin Bell written by Brokeback Mountain scribes Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, as well as The Liar’s Ball, an adaptation of Vicky Ward’s acclaimed nonfiction book that is being produced by J.C. Chandor and written by Gideon Yago (The Newsroom). A24 releases Lenny Abrahamson’s much-buzzed-about Room, starring Brie Larson, later this year.
Jenkins is repped by CAA and manager Jewerl Ross.