Though it doesn’t yet have a title, Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins‘ new directorial feature effort does have a new home: Disney’s newly acquired subsidiary Fox Searchlight. He’ll next direct the currently untitled film about one of the 20th century’s most influential choreographers, the late Alvin Ailey. The studio made a deal with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater last year, getting the full cooperation of the organization that oversees the rights to both Ailey’s choreography and Jennifer Dunning‘s biography, “Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance.” Though Disney’s acquisition of all things Fox has been a major change since that deal was made, it looks like the banner will still get to carry on with their biopic plans.
As Deadline reports, Fox Searchlight and the untitled film’s producers will be working alongside Robert Battle and Judith Jamison, the organization’s artistic director and artistic director emerita, in order to bring Ailey’s story to the screen along with his iconic choreography. The script hails from Julian Breece (When They See Us) and the production team includes Judy Kinberg, Adele Romanski, Rachel Cohen, and Alicia Keys. Jenkins executive produces through his PASTEL banner with Jana Edelbaum and Susan Lewis, in a co-production with AK Worldwide Media and iDeal Partners.
Here’s what Jenkins himself had to say:
Beyond proud and humbled to have the opportunity to bring Brother Ailey's life to the screen alongside @julianbreece and my partners at @WePastel, @foxsearchlight and the wonderful folks of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 🙏🏿♥️ — https://t.co/idgEjwlZen via @Deadline
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) June 3, 2019
Jenkins won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Best Picture-winner Moonlight and was also nominated for Best Director for that breakout film. More recently, he earned a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for If Beale Street Could Talk, his latest directorial feature. In the writing department, Jenkins most recently scripted Twelve, director Angel Manuel Soto‘s feature adaptation of the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys about dirtbike riders in Baltimore, Maryland.
For more of our coverage of Jenkins’ filmmaking career, be sure to get caught up with these recent write-ups:
- Indie Spirit Awards 2019: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Wins Top Prize, Glenn Close Roll Continues
- Exclusive: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ DP James Laxton on Color, Closeups, and Barry Jenkins
- ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Review: A Story Lost Between Love and Hate
- Final ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Trailer Wants You to Trust Love All the Way
- New ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Trailer Reveals Barry Jenkins’ Lush ‘Moonlight’ Follow-Up