Barry Jenkins had a pretty good 2016 with the release of Moonlight, which netted him an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay along with Best Picture. We’ve all been eagerly awaiting what would be his next feature, and now we know. Annapurna has sent out a press release announcing that the studio will back his new movie, an adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk.
Per the press release, the film “is the story of 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 had a bit of resurgence lately with last year’s documentary about his life, I Am Not Your Negro, receiving critical acclaim along with an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary. With Jenkins now helming an adaptation of Baldwin’s novel, it will likely tune in even more people to Baldwin’s work.
Jenkins has been aiming to adapt the novel for many years, but only recently acquired the approval of Baldwin’s estate. Baldwin’s sister, Gloria Karefa-Smart says, “We are delighted to entrust Barry Jenkins with this adaptation. Barry is a sublimely conscious and gifted filmmaker, whose Medicine for Melancholy impressed us so greatly that we had to work with him.”
For his part, Jenkins says of the adapting Baldwin, “James Baldwin is a man of and ahead of his time; his interrogations of the American consciousness have remained relevant to this day. To translate the power of Tish and Fonny’s love to the screen in Baldwin’s image is a dream I’ve long held dear. Working alongside the Baldwin Estate, I’m excited to finally make that dream come true.”
Filming is expected to begin this October, which means it’s more than likely we’ll be getting Jenkins’ next movie sometime in 2018.