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Moonlight director Barry Jenkins inks first look television deal with Amazon Studios

Photo: Kevork Djansezian / (Getty Images)

Moonlight director Barry Jenkins will see his latest film, a “rich, tragic” adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, in theaters on November 30. In advance of its release, Amazon has announced that it has signed the Oscar-winning filmmaker to a first look television deal.

The deal accompanies Jenkins’ current project with the streaming giant, an 11-episode adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad. Jenkins is directing every episode of the series, which is co-produced Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Jenkins’ own Pastel production company.


As part of the deal, Pastel will be involved in the creation of new original series to air on Amazon Prime. “Barry is clearly a master of groundbreaking, authentically emotional storytelling and we are so proud to have him share that gift with us,” Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said in a press release. 

Salke’s really helping to step up Amazon’s TV game in the wake of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Emmy sweep. They’ve recently inked deals with Neil Gaiman, Jordan Peele, Lena Waithe, and Joe and Anthony Russo. Oh, and there’s that billion-dollar Lord Of The Rings series on the horizon.

The “arms race” rolls on.

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Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.