Barry Jenkins drops new trailer for ‘The Underground Railroad’ series

'We have all these different worlds that are built out of the consciousness of this Black woman.'

Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins has posted a new teaser for his upcoming series The Underground Railroad.

Based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Jenkins’ 10-part limited Amazon Prime series stars newcomers Thuso Mbedu and Chase W. Dillon as well as Joel Edgerton, Lily Rabe and William Jackson Harper.

Read More: Barry Jenkins to direct Disney’s live-action ‘Lion King’ follow up

The teaser is called “In Aeternum” and, as noted in the press release, it brings you further into the world of the series by providing glimpses of various character’s journeys and a sampling of composer Nicholas Britell’s singular score. Check out the teaser clip below.


From Academy Award® winner Barry Jenkins and based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad chronicles Cora Randall’s (newcomer Thuso Mbedu) desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Through her journey, Cora contends with the legacy of the mother that left her behind and her own struggles to realize a life she never thought was possible.

Over the course of her journey Cora is pursued by Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton), a bounty hunter who is fixated on bringing her back to the plantation she escaped; especially since her mother Mabel is the only one he has never caught.

The Underground Railroad stars Mbedu, Edgerton, and Chase W. Dillon, Aaron Pierre, William Jackson Harper, Sheila Atim, Amber Gray, Peter De Jersey, Chukwudi Iwuji, Damon Herriman, Lily Rabe, Irone Singleton, Mychal-Bella Bowman, Marcus “MJ” Gladney, Jr., Will Poulter and Peter Mullan.

Read More: Director Barry Jenkins shares personal story about facing racism in Hollywood

“I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe the show, and I think you can’t describe all of it in one, because from state to state, the tone of the show and the journey shift,” said Jenkins, per IndieWire. “I think it’s one of the beautiful things about Cora in the book; from Georgia, to South Carolina, to North Carolina, to Tennessee, to Indiana. It’s almost as though Cora is manifesting each new world she’s entering. We always talk about world building. And I love that in this show, we have all these different worlds that are built out of the consciousness of this character, of this Black woman.”

The Underground Railroad – "In Aeternum." from Barry Jenkins on Vimeo.

Jenkins serves as showrunner and directs all ten episodes of the limited series. He executive produces alongside Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt, Richard Heus, Jacqueline Hoyt and Colson Whitehead.  

The Underground Railroad will stream in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide on Amazon Prime Video in 2021.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!