Barry Jenkins‘ “Underground Railroad” series nears production as it rounds out its three leads. Chase W. Dillon, Thuso Mbedu and Aaron Pierre will be starring in the series, which is an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s pre-Civil War novel.
Whitehead’s book was published in August of 2016 by Doubleday Books. It follows the story of Cara (Mbedu) as she attempts to flee the chains of her existing society as a slave. From Georgia, she makes the trek to South Carolina with the advice from Cesar (Pierre), who tells her about the Underground Railroad. As they escape and make their way through the states, the risks only get bigger.
As reported on by Variety, Amazon Studios have been developing the project for quite some time now. The Jenkins project was first ordered to series last June and has been in development back around Jenkins’ Oscar Best Picture win for “Moonlight.” The “Underground Railroad” project will be Jenkin’s first full venture into longform television. Barry Jenkins is directing all 11 hour-long episodes, as well as executive producing.
The three new cast members are actively involved in projects of their own. Mbedu is a rising star in her native South Africa, starring in “Is’thunzi,” “Liberty” and “Shuga.” Dillon is in a recurring role in BET’s “First Wives Club” from Tracy Oliver. Pierre recently finished working on the second season of David S. Goyer’s SyFy network series “Krypton.” He is a graduate of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in London.
Amazon Studios, Jenkin’s Pastel Productions and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment are all producing the series, which is still in pre-production. More details and castings to follow.