Barry Jenkins has quickly become one of the most interesting filmmakers in Hollywood. While it took years between his first two pictures, “Melody for Melancholy” and “Moonlight,” he has since been extremely busy. Winning Best Picture for “Moonlight” in 2016 undeniably made its mark on the industry, becoming the first film with an all-black cast to win Best Picture. He signed on to produce, direct, and write an original series for Amazon Studios based on “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. Now that tie with Amazon will be tighter, as Jenkins and his production company Pastel have signed a first-look deal with the streaming service.
According to Variety, The deal brings together Jenkins and Amazon for an exclusive relationship. Jenkins founded Pastel with producers Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, and Mark Ceryak. The deal will help Amazon continue to develop original series for the streaming platform. Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, had this to say about Jenkins.
“Barry is clearly a master of groundbreaking, authentically emotional storytelling and we are so proud to have him share that gift with us. We are incredibly fortunate to have also secured his directorial vision for the entire limited series ‘The Underground Railroad.’”
Jenkins is currently in the Oscar race for his feature “If Beale Street Could Talk” for Annapurna Pictures. He adapted another difficult novel by James Baldwin in order to craft the film. This adds more faith in his ability to adapt Whitehead’s book, a notoriously epic novel. This will also give Amazon another top-tier program to put up against HBO and FX in the Limited Series market. The fact that Jenkins will write and direct all the episodes, expect top talent to flock to the project. It will undeniably be a huge player at the Emmys when it officially releases.