Arguably 2016 was Barry Jenkins‘ big coming out party and curiously sharing a place together along with Moonlight on several top ten lists was Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro (based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House).
Now, in a twist of cosmic fate (more like Oscar clout) and wanting to adapt this project for a while, Jenkins along with newly minted Pastel prod co. partners Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy and Mark Ceryak have teamed with a pair of aces in the Annapurna and Plan B folks to bring Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk to the big screen. Lensing will begin in October, and we can expect pre-TIFF casting news for the film’s romantic leads and chief antagonistic force in the months ahead.
Gist: This 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.
Worth Noting: Jenkins has been personally invested in this project – he “wrote the screenplay during the same summer sojourn in 2013 when he penned Moonlight.”
Do We Care?: Circle this as one of the most anticipated films for 2018. 2016 was a big year for the filmmaker and (via Peck’s film) the author, but last year was perhaps an even bigger deal for James Laxton. We can already imagine how a shifting scenery (Puerto Rico included) and immediacy will contribute to the film’s DNA. Peg this with a TIFF/Venice/Telluride date.