Barry Jenkins Shares a Stunning New Teaser For “The Underground Railroad”

One of 2021’s most eagerly anticipated series is writer/director Barry Jenkins’ The Underground RailroadAdapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, Jenkins’ series stars Thuso Mbedu as Cora Randall, a young Black girl who escapes her enslavement on a Georgia plantation and, heading north, utilizes the Underground Railroad to secure her freedom. Only in Whitehead’s mythic telling, the Underground Railroad is an actual, physical system of subterranean trains and stations, manned by brave conductors and aided by a series of undercover abolitionists who help usher escaped slaves to freedom.

Jenkins likes to share his The Underground Railroad updates on Vimeo, where he’s previously dropped snippets of composer Nicholas Britell‘s score and other glimpses of the series. This new look at his vision is simply stunning. Titled “In Aeternum” (Latin: “Forever”), the clip reverses time, making a sublime, surreal sequence of Cora’s journey, from a burning house to slaves running backward from possible freedom into the clutches of their captors. One moment, in particular, shows two people falling upwards through a dark tunnel. It’s simultaneously gorgeous and heartbreaking to behold. The entire teaser is only 1:45 long, yet it packs a wallop.

Watch it:

Jenkins has reunited with a lot of his favorite collaborators. Britell, of course, his is go-to composer, having worked with Jenkins on his stunning, Oscar-winning Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. Cinematographer James Laxton, another Moonlight and Beale Street alum, lensed the series. Another Moonlight and Beale Street collaborator, editor Joi McMillon, is on hand as well.

Star Thuso Mbedu took to Twitter to share an incredible photo of her as Cora, too:

Joining Mbedu are Joel Edgerton, Chase W. Dillon, Aaron Pierre, William Jackson Harper, Sheila Atim, Amber Gray, Peter De Jersey, Chukwudi Iwuji, Damon Herriman, Lily Rabe, Irone Singleton, Mychal-Bella Bowman, Marcus “MJ” Gladney, Jr., Will Poulter, and Peter Mullan.

We’ll share more about the series, including the release date, when we learn it.

Featured image: An image from “The Underground Railroad.” Courtesy Amazon Studios


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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.