Oscar Winning director Benny Jenkins announced in a Variety Exclusive that he will next adapt James Baldwin’s novel, If Beale Street Could Talk for his next film. The film will be based on Baldwin’s 1974 novel set in ’70s Harlem and follows a young engaged couple Fonny and Tish. When Fonny is falsely accused of rape, Tish, who is pregnant with their child, races to find evidence that will prove Fonny’s innocence.
Production on the film is expected to start in October with distribution being handled by Annapurna Pictures.
Baldwin’s sister, Gloria Karefa-Smart, said in a statement: “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, won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay with Moonlight playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney at the 2016 Oscars. He is also set to write and direct a limited series based on Colson Whitehead’s award-winning novel The Underground Railroad for Amazon.