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‘The Underground Railroad’: Barry Jenkins to Write and Direct Limited Series for Amazon

The show is based on Colson Whitehead's award-winning novel of the same name.

Barry Jenkins Academy Awards

Barry Jenkins

Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock

We’ve known for a while now that Barry Jenkins is working on an adaptation of “The Underground Railroad,” Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award–winning novel. Now we know who it’s for: Amazon is developing the hourlong limited drama, which Jenkins will both write and direct. The series marks the “Moonlight” writer/director’s first new endeavor since his surprise Oscar glory last month.

READ MORE: What Barry Jenkins, Casey Affleck, Viola Davis and More Are Working on After Their Oscar Victories

“Going back to ‘The Intuitionist,’ Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and ‘The Underground Railroad’ is no different,” said Jenkins in a statement. “It’s a groundbreaking work that pays respect to our nation’s history while using the form to explore it in a thoughtful and original way. Preserving the sweep and grandeur of a story like this requires bold, innovative thinking and in Amazon we’ve found a partner whose reverence for storytelling and freeness of form is wholly in line with our vision.”

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Pastel and Plan B, both of which helped bring “Moonlight” to the world, will executive produce the series. A New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club selection, “The Underground Railroad” is Whitehead’s first novel since 2011’s “Zone One.”

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