Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) is set to direct a biopic on the life of Alvin Ailey, one of the world’s most influential and prolific choreographers, for Fox Searchlight. Deadline was first to break this story.
The deal, which the studio had been working on since last year, includes full rights to Ailey’s choreography as well as Jennifer Dunning’s biography Alvin Ailey: A Life In Dance. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison will work in concert with the project.
Jenkins, who won the Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 2017 for Moonlight (which also won Best Picture) was nominated in the same category again this year, for If Beale Street Could Talk. He’s next set for production on his 11-part limited series The Underground Railroad, based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, for Amazon. He also wrote the script for Twelve, the Angel Manuel Soto-directed feature adaptation of the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, currently in post-production.
Julian Breece (When They See Us) will write the script with Judy Kinberg, Adele Romanski, Rachel Cohen, and Alicia Keys producing. The film is a co-production of AK Worldwide Media, iDeal Partners, and Romanski and Jenkins’ PASTEL. Jenkins will executive produce with Jana Edelbaum and Susan Lewis.