Amazon Prime Video announced in a press release on Friday that the limited series The Underground Railroad will premiere on May 14. Directed by the Academy Award–winner Barry Jenkins, the 10-episode limited series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead.
The studio also released a 46-second teaser.
According to the press release, the series is based on Cora Randall’s (played by Thuso Mbedu) desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Over the course of her journey, Cora is pursued by Ridgeway (played by Joel Edgerton), a bounty hunter who is fixated on bringing her back to the plantation she escaped; especially since her mother Mabel is the only one he has never caught. As she travels from state to state, Cora contends with the legacy of the mother that left her behind and her own struggles to realise a life she never thought was possible.
The Underground Railroad also stars 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.
Besides being the director for all 10 episodes, Jenkins is also serving as the executive producer for the web series alongside Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt, Richard Heus, Jacqueline Hoyt, and Colson Whitehead. The Underground Railroad is a production of Plan B, Pastel, and Big Indie with Amazon Studios.
Jenkins directed and co-wrote the film Moonlight (2016), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Besides winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with Tarell Alvin McCraney, Jenkins also received a nomination for Best Director.