Oscar Winner Barry Jenkins Next Film Adapts James Baldwin's 'Beale Street' Novel
Barry Jenkins, who won an Oscar for his amazing film, Moonlight, has tapped a classic James Baldwin novel as his next cinematic project.
Barry Jenkins‘ next project marks another high-profile title for Hollywood, as the Oscar winner has announced the adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk for Annapurna Pictures.
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Based on the novel by James Baldwin, Beale Street follows Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prover her lover’s innocence while caring for their first born child. Even more intriguing is how Barry Jenkins wrote the screenplay during the same 2013 summer when he wrote Moonlight.
Does this mean those same energies are flowing into the Beale Street screenplay? We certainly hope so.
Mr. Jenkins has been working closely with the Baldwin Estate to make sure everything is A-OK. “We are delighted to entrust Barry Jenkins with this adaptation,” James Baldwin’s sister, Gloria Karefa-Smart, said. “Barry is a sublimely conscious and gifted filmmaker, whose medicine for melancholy impressed us so greatly that we had to work with him.”
The movie will mark Jenkins’ first production with Annapurna Pictures and also serve as a reunion of sorts with Moonlight‘s producing team of PASTEL and Plan B. “James Baldwin is a man of and ahead of his time,” Jenkins said in praise of the late author. “His interrogations of the American consciousness have remained relevant to this day. To Translate the power of Tish and Fonny’s love to the screen in Baldwin’s image is a dream I’ve long held dear. Working alongside the Baldwin Estate, I am excited to finally make that dream come true.
In addition to If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins is also developing an hour-long drama series about the Underground Railroad, which is currently in development at Amazon, and is based on Colson Whitehead‘s best-selling book, The Underground Railroad.