Fox Searchlight has tapped Oscar winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) to direct its untitled film based on the life of Alvin Ailey, the prolific choreographer and pioneer of modern dance performance, Deadline reports.
News of the studio’s commitment to develop a film based on the life and work of Ailey broke in March of last year, revealing that the studio was in cooperation with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the organization that controlled the rights to Ailey’s choreography. Fox Searchlight also acquired the rights to Jennifer Dunning’s 1996 Ailey biography, Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance.
It was also reported that the studio would be working closely with Artistic Director Robert Battle and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison to honor the celebrated choreographer’s life and bring it to the screen.
Julian Breece, whose recent credits include the first two episodes of Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us miniseries, will be writing the film. Judy Kinberg, Adele Romanski, Rachel Cohen and Alicia Keys will serve as producers.
Jenkins directed last year’s Academy Award-winning If Beale Street Could Talk and will next direct Amazon Prime’s forthcoming The Underground Railroad series. Jenkins also penned the script for Angel Manuel Soto’s feature film adaptation of the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, titled Twelve.
Further details of the film’s release date or cast have yet to be announced. Stay tuned for further updates on the project and see Jenkins’ reaction to today’s reveal below.