Barry Jenkins To Direct Alvin Ailey Movie For Fox Searchlight

Mike Fleming Jr

EXCLUSIVE: Barry Jenkins has been set by Fox Searchlight to direct its untitled film based on the life of Alvin Ailey, one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th Century.

Searchlight made a deal early last year with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater which granted full cooperation from the organization that controls the rights to Ailey’s choreography. The package also included the rights to Jennifer Dunning’s seminal biography Alvin Ailey: A Life In Dance. Fox Searchlight and the producers will be working closely with Artistic Director Robert Battle and Artistic Director Emerita, Judith Jamison, to bring Ailey’s story and choreography to the screen.

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Setting Jenkins is a coup for the studio. The filmmaker won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Best Picture-winner Moonlight, his breakout film for which he was also nominated for Best Director. Most recently, he was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for the celebrated If Beale Street Could Talk, which he also directed. He most recently scripted Twelve, the Angel Manuel Soto-directed feature adaptation of the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys.

Julian Breece is writing the script for the Ailey film, and Judy Kinberg, Adele Romanski, Rachel Cohen, and Alicia Keys are producing. Pic is a co-production between AK Worldwide Media, iDeal Partners, and PASTEL. Latter is the Jenkins’ production label and he will be executive producer alongside Jana Edelbaum and Susan Lewis.

Jenkins is repped by CAA, Silent R Management, and Lichter Grossman.

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