Barry Jenkins who won the Academy Award Best Picture for Moonlight is set to start production of If Beale Street Could Talk in October 2017. Based on the novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk, is the story of Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first born child. It is a celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, their families and their lives, trying to bring about justice through love, for love and the promise of the American dream.
Jenkins, who has wanted to make the film for many years, wrote the screenplay during the same summer sojourn in 2013 when he penned Moonlight. Since then Jenkins has worked toward securing the trust of the Baldwin Estate. Baldwin’s sister, Gloria Karefa-Smart says, “We are delighted to entrust Barry Jenkins with this adaptation. Barry is a sublimely conscious and gifted filmmaker, whose Medicine for Melancholy impressed us so greatly that we had to work with him.”
Jenkins adds, “James Baldwin is a man of and ahead of his time; his interrogations of the American consciousness have remained relevant to this day. To translate the power of Tish and Fonny’s love to the screen in Baldwin’s image is a dream I’ve long held dear. Working alongside the Baldwin Estate, I’m excited to finally make that dream come true.”
The production will mark Jenkins’ first with Annapurna and a re-teaming of Moonlight’s producing team with PASTEL and Plan B.