After winning, following a brief moment of not winning, the Oscar for Best Picture earlier this year for Moonlight, Barry Jenkins is in just about the best position any director can be when it comes to getting a follow-up project started. But this time, audiences won’t have to wait another eight years for Jenkins’ next directorial outing.
Variety reports that Jenkins will next direct an adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk. The novel is about “Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first born child. It is a celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, their families and their lives, trying to bring about justice through love, for love and the promise of the American dream.”
Baldwin’s name has returned to the forefront of many conversations in recent months, between the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro and America’s continued regression into the social climates that made the civil rights uprisings of Baldwin’s era so necessary. The writer and intellectual’s fire and considered empathy is a perfect fit for Jenkins, who exhibited a mastery of the same in what ended up being our favorite film of 2016.
Production on If Beale Street Could Talk is slated to begin this fall, which leaves us hoping for a 2019 release that we can set aside on any and every calendar. In the meantime, Jenkins will also continue work on his adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad as a series for Amazon. And for those of you still sleeping on Netflix’s Dear White People, Jenkins directed the show’s “Chapter V”.