Miami native and ‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins has a new project – and it’s a classic

Barry Jenkins accepts the Oscar for best picture in February.Chris Pizzello

The director of the made-in-Miami “Moonlight” has announced his feature film follow-up to the Oscar-winning movie, and it promises to be a classic.

Barry Jenkins, who was born in Miami and adapted Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” into an award-winning screenplay, will now tackle the work of James Baldwin. He will direct Baldwin’s novel “If Beale Street Could Talk,” about a couple in 1970s Harlem, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The novel is about a young man who is falsely accused of rape and imprisoned and the efforts of his pregnant girlfriend to clear his name.

Jenkins wrote the screenplay at the same time he was working on “Moonlight” and has worked closely with the Baldwin estate on the project, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Miami natives Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney were celebrated for ‘Moonlight’ at the African Heritage Cultural Art Center in Miami after the film took home three Oscars.Charles Trainor, Jr.


Released in 2016, “I Am Not Your Negro,” Haitian-born director Raoul Peck’s documentary about Baldwin’s unfinished work, was nominated for an Academy Award but lost to “O.J.: Made in America.”

There’s definitely life after “Moonlight,” which also earned Mahershala Ali an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Jenkins is also working on a limited series for Amazon based on Colson Whitehead’s novel “The Underground Railroad,” which re-imagines the Underground Railroad as an actual, physical railroad.

Whitehead’s book won a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and he appeared at the Miami Book Fair in 2016.