Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins has invested his recent career in foregrounding the work of pre-eminent African American artists, with Moonlight drawing on the unpublished work of Tarell Alvin McCraney and If Beale Street Could Talk looking to American literary titan James Baldwin. Now, Jenkins’ next feature will examine the life of another artistic legend: choreographer Alvin Ailey.
The feature, so far untitled, will see Jenkins direct from a screenplay based on the biography Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance, written by When They See Us co-writer Julian Breece. Ailey, who founded New York’s renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, was a pioneer of modern dance who revolutionized black performance storytelling for decades in the mid-20th century. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the film will be produced with the cooperation of the Ailey American Dance Company, who own the full rights to his body of work.
Fox Searchlight will release the feature, which from its biopic pedigree to the artistry of a director like Jenkins working at the height of his powers, will be making a substantial amount of noise upon arrival. Also, Beale Street is on Hulu and was one of the great underseen films of 2018, if you’re looking for something to do.