‘Underground Railroad’ Teaser: A Stirring First Look at Barry Jenkins’ Series and Nicholas Britell’s Score

Jenkins directed all nine episodes of the upcoming Amazon Prime limited series.
"The Underground Railroad"
"The Underground Railroad"

A 60-second teaser trailer for Barry Jenkins’ series “The Underground Railroad” has debuted, bringing with it a powerful first listen of Nicholas Britell’s latest original score. Britell contributed the original music for Jenkins’ feature films “Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” plus the Emmy-winning original score for HBO’s “Succession.” Now Britell reunites with Jenkins for what sounds like his most rousing original score to date. It’s impossible for the music featured in this brief “Underground Railroad” teaser to not stir the soul.

“The Underground Railroad” is Jenkins and Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. Whitehead serves as an executive producer, with Jenkins directing all nine episodes of the limited series. Cast members include Thuso Mbedu as Cora, Chase W. Dillon as Homer, and Joel Edgerton as Ridgeway. Oscar-winning Plan B producers Adele Romanski and Dede Gardner have also returned to reunite with Jenkins after “Moonlight.”

Amazon’s synopsis for “The Underground Railroad” reads: “The limited series chronicles young Cora’s (Mbedu) journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.”

Jenkins announced last month that production on “The Underground Railroad” wrapped after a 116-day shoot. In an interview with IndieWire earlier this year, the Oscar winner said the limited series was the hardest production of his career thus far.

“It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done, not because it was difficult to make physically, but just emotionally,” Jenkins said. “I’ve never cried on set with anything I’ve made. On this one, at least once every two weeks somebody would be like ‘you alright man?’ I would have to walk… off the set for 10 or 15 minutes because I was just distraught. Our guidance counselor pulled me off set one day and would not let me continue to direct.”

Watch the powerful first teaser for Barry Jenkins’ “The Underground Railroad” in the video below. Also attached are first look photos Jenkins’ shared from the series on social media.

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