Jenkins will direct and write a one-hour drama series based on Colson Whitehead‘s best-selling novel Underground Railroad, with the series premiering on Amazon. Underground Railroad will be Jenkins’ first attempt at directing a TV series in its entirety.
“Going back to The Intuitionist, Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and The Underground Railroad is no different,” Jenkins said to Variety. “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.”
Released in August of last year, Underground Railroad tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves that escape a Georgia plantation in search of freedom in the antebellum South. In their search for the Underground Railroad the two ultimately find a group made up of engineers and conductors, as well as a network of tracks and tunnels underneath the grounds of the south.
The book was a commercial and critical success, selling over 825,000 copies in the United States, and being the winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction.
As for Jenkins’ Moonlight, the movie has been reaping some additional success since winning the Best Picture award at this year’s Oscars. Since its win the film has expanded to 1,500 theaters across the United States.
The expansion has surely added to the money the movie has already earned. Made for just $1.5 million Moonlight has already grossed $22.3 million in its domestic release — nearly 15 times more than its budget.