Joel Edgerton is heading to Barry Jenkins’ Underground Railroad
Variety has brought word that the upcoming Amazon limited series The Underground Railroad from Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) has expanded its all-star roster with the addition of Boy Erased‘s Joel Edgerton.
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The 44-year-old writer/director/actor has signed on to portray the role of Ridgeway, a runaway slavecatcher. Edgerton joins a cast that already includes Thuso Mbedu (Liberty), Chase W. Dillon (First Wives Club) and Aaron Pierre (Krypton).
The highly-anticipated series, based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, will consist of 11 episodes and follows Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia who is an outcast even amongst her fellow Africans and is struggling coming into womanhood when she meets Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia who informs her of the Underground Railroad, inspiring them both to take the risk and escape to freedom.
The limited series will chronicle Cora’s journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the southern soil.
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Edgerton has been enjoying a wave of indie success over the past five years following his directorial debut with the 2015 psychological thriller The Gift, going on to star in the Whitey Bulger crime biopic Black Mass, the sci-fi mystery Midnight Special, the romantic biopic Loving and the horror film It Comes at Night.
Jenkins will direct and write all 11 episodes of the series. Jenkins’ Pastel Productions will executive produce alongside Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, who also produced Jenkins’ Oscar-winning drama Moonlight. No release date has been set for The Underground Railroad, but the series will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.