Barry Jenkins’ ‘The Underground Railroad’ Adaptation At Amazon Sets Thuso Mbedu, Aaron Pierre And Chase W. Dillon In Lead Roles

Willy Sanjuan/Shutterstock

The cast of Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s bestselling novel The Underground Railroad is starting to come together. Thuso Mbedu, Aaron Pierre and Chase W. Dillon have been set to play Cora, Caesar and Homer respectively in the forthcoming Amazon series.

Thuso Mbedu, Aaron Pierre and Chase W. Dillon Shutterstock, Courtesy of Dillon family

A native of South Africa, Mbedu has starred in shows including Liberty, Shuga as well as Is’thunzi for which she received two International Emmy Award nominations. She is repped by ICM and Creative Partners Group.

Pierre recently starred in another Amazon series, Brittania and appeared in the ITV miniseries Prime Suspect 1973. He can be seen in the upcoming second season of David S. Goyer’s Krypton on Syfy. He is repped by Hamilton Hodell in the UK and Anonymous Content in the US.

Dillon has a recurring role on First Wives Clubs on BET and has been cast in the role of Young Igwe in Little America at Apple. He is repped by CESD, GEM Entertainment Group and Jago & Associates

Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad won a Pulitzer Prize a month after Amazon bought the adaptation. The story centers on young Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.

The book, which drew 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 — also was a 2016 National Book Award winner and Oprah Book Club pick.



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